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3 1148 01005 7867 




Bishop of Kansas City. 

Written in 1898. 



Copyright 1907. 


Kansas City, Mo. 


To the memory of the dear friends and compan- 
ions of my school-boy days this little book is lovingly 


In the evening of life, relieved from burthensome duties 
and cares of office now happily devolving on my Right JRe-v. 
Coadjutor, I find my thoughts constantly recurring to the 
friends and events of my early life. It is for the compan- 
ionship of these persons, and events now belonging to the re- 
mote past, which I fondly call the rosy morning of life, that 
I recall them and bid them live ivilh me again in the fascina- 
tions of memory. The solitariness of old age is a garden 
a -bloom 'with fairest flowers , -when life's career, viewed back- 
watds at its close, is contemplated as appointed by the in- 
finite love, wisdom, and goodness of God, Who disposeth all 
things sweetly, ordaining all things in mercy, and in meas- 
ure and mimber, for our greater happiness and Mis greater 
h on or and glory. 





RAHEN, . 12 

HOL,Y CROSvS, . ... 2O 


MEANUS, .... . 37 

CROOM, .... 40 





O'CoNNELL, ... . . 42, 44, 48, 50 

O'GRADYS, . . 24, 27, 28, 47 


CHARLEVILLE, . . . .56 

MATHEMATICS, . , . 58 

THE FAMINE YEARS, ... . . 59 


MY MIND MADE UP, ... ... 67 



LIMERICK, ... ... 70 

DUBININ, .... .... 71 



THE DOLDRUMS, . . . . . 74 



KEY WEST, . - . 77 

THE FLORIDAS, .... ...'... 78 





TORNADO, ->v< 81 



NEW ORLEANS, .... . .86 

THE Big Missouri, .... 87 

BATON ROUGE, .... 89 

NATCHEZ, . . . .90 



MEMPHIS, ... 93 

CAIRO, . . 93 



ST. Louis, 94 




ARCHBISHOP OF ST. Louis 97-98 

ALTON, 99 


TRENCHERY, ORGANIST, .... 100-101 


DR. T. M. HOPE, . . 104 








I was born May 10, 1829. The place of my birth is 
known as Cahirguillamore. Cahirguillarnore is in the 
parish of Grange, County Limerick, Ireland. The parish 
of Grange is succursal to the parish of Bruff. The village 
of Grange is three miles north of the town of Bruff. Ca- 
hirguillamore is one mile west of the village of Grange. 
Cahir in the Irish language signifies city, or, more prop- 
erly, a city having jurisdiction, as a bishop's see, or the 
seat of a judge. Cahir pronounced in the Irish language 
Kauheer means chair or bench, and is analogous in 
meaning to cathedra. The suffix Guillamore (in Irish, 
Giolla Mor) signifies big knight; but who the big knight 
was is uncertain, though a vague tradition points to him 
as the famous White Knight of the sixteenth century. 
At present Cahirguillamore (the City of the Big Knight) 
is the home of the descendants of Chief Baron Standish 
O'Grady, who was raised to the peerage of Ireland, as 
Lord Guillamore, in 1831. 



There are many Cahirs in Ireland, distinguished by 
their suffixes, such as Cahir-civeen, Cahir-daniel, Cahir- 
emee, Cahir-norry, Cahir-korna. The ruins of Cahir_ 
guillamore, which are extensive, show that it was once an 
important city ; but the age to which it belonged is in the 
same obscurity as Ireland's round towers or the pyra- 
mids of Egypt. 

The year 1829, in which I was born, marks the be- 
ginning of the epoch of religious toleration of Catholics in 
Ireland, at the close of a period of persecution of three 
hundred years, which equalled in cruelty and duration 
the persecutions of Christians in the Roman Empire from 
Nero to Constantine. Catholic Emancipation in the 
British Empire was read a third time and passed in the 
British Parliament on the loth of April, 1829, which was 
one month before I was born. 

My parents were James Hogan and Ellen Connor. 
James Hogan was born in Cahir, County Limerick, Ire- 
land, in 1785. Ellen Connor, my mother, was born at 
Uregar, Drommin, County Limerick, Ireland, in 1792. 
My father was well educated in the Irish and English 
languages, in mathematics, and in Latin and Greek clas- 
sics. My mother knew Irish and English well, and was up 
to the advanced common-school grade of her time. My 


father, though educated for a profession, had the good 
sense to confine his ambition to the safer and less conten- 
tious way of living as a farmer of land and a dealer in 
cattle and crops; and besides, the penal laws, then in 
force in Ireland, debarred Catholics from the learned pro- 
fessions and from Government office, unless upon re- 
cusancy of their faith, which, in my father's case, was an 
insuperable objection. 

My parents married in 1812. My father died at Ca- 
hirguillamore in 1856, the seventy-first year of his age; 
my mother died, likewise at Cahirguillamore, in 1832, in 
the fortieth year of her age. My father did not make a 
second marriage. They were exemplary parents, and 
governed their children and household strictly, in ac- 
cordance with teachings of Christian faith and morals. 
God grant them eternal rest in peace. Amen. 

The homestead where I was born has been greatly 
altered by the vicissitudes of times and masters for sixty 
years. The evergreen hedges, venerable shade trees, 
kitchen garden, orchard, farm yard, and out offices have 
suffered the fate of Goldsmith's Deserted Village. In a 
corner of a cattle range a solitary stone house remains. 



I was the youngest but one of nine children, seven 
sons and two daughters. At the age of five I went with 
my brothers and sisters and several neighboring children 
to school to Andrew Slattery, who taught in the village of 
Rahen, half a mile distant from the family residence. I 
had for intimate schoolmate a little boy of my own age 
and size, named Patsy Scott. Patsy and Johnny sat side 
by side in school, and were very much attached. Patsy 
was fond of me and I was fond of Patsy. We had our 
battles, however ; once we had a very hot battle. Patsy 
drew a pin from his plaid dress and stuck it at me, and I 
drew a pin from my plaid dress and stuck it at Patsy. 
He cried and bawled and I cried and bawled. Then the 
master jumped up from his chair and made straightway 
for us, rod in hand. We thought we were to be killed on 
the spot, and we roared and bawled seven times louder 
than before. All the boys and girls in school got into 
roars of laughter. How long it took to quell the riot I do 
not remember. But Patsy and Johnny soon became 
friends again, and were good boys after that. Dear 
Patsy, I love you still, and all the more because I know 
not whither you have gone from me, or whether you be 


living or dead. A separation of nigh unto seventy years 
leaves the heart in a desolate winter, and with no hope 
whatever of a coming spring, in this life at least. 

We were the babes of the school, petted and caressed 
by all our elders. But strange things happen. There sat 
beside us in our class, the ABC class, a tall, towering, 
red-faced, bulky, bushy-headed fellow, the happy, good- 
natured giant of the school, between whose father and 
Andy Slattery, the schoolmater, an agreement had been 
in existence for years, to the effect that when George 
Weekes, Jr., would have learned his A B Cs successfully, 
George Weekes, Sr., would pay to the said Andrew Slat- 
tery, schoolmaster, the sum of five guineas in gold and 
the further emolument of a full suit of best broadcloth 
md a silk Caroline hat a bargain under which, as a 
natter of notoriety, Andy Slattery, schoolmaster, was 
oser to his dying day. 

For this brilliant schoolmate of mine such affection 
,s I had was of the most Platonic kind; yet it had not 
rown less with the flight of time, neither had George, 
met him again, forty years later, when a pilgrim to my 
ative land. I found him as a patriarch of old, sur- 
)unded by his happy wife and houseful of blooming 
liildren. George Weekes' family home and broad acres 


are at Knockfinnel, overlooking Lough Gur, near Knocka- 
doon, in County Limerick, South Munster, the land of the 
Desmonds in more ancient times, the land of the Eu- 
genians, the descendants of Eoghan Moore, the son of 
Olioll Ollum, the King of Munster. 

This little village school at Rahen had one great at- 
traction for its pupils, which happily fell to my lot to 
enjoy, for at that time the famous hedge schools of old 
were by no means a relic of the past in Ireland. When 
the dark chilly days of the winter of 1834-35 had passed 
away and given place to the bright Warm spring and 
early summer, Andy Slattery's scholars joyfully ex- 
changed the dimly lighted little school-house, which was 
Master Andy's residence, for a vicinal sunny glade, shel- 
tered by a thicket of hawthorns, where, under the leafy 
branches of ash and elm trees, they spread themselves at 
full length on the grass or sat upon stone seats ranged in 
rows before the master's chair. It was easy and pleasant 
to learn amidst such surroundings. Unconsciously, Mas- 
ter Andy Slattery's scholars were Nature's most happy 
children. Our good Master Andy, at other times rigid 
and exacting, was then indulgent, condescending, and 
pleasant. As naturally as the grass and the daisies grew 
and bloomed at our feet, or as the warm sunlight streamed 


through the branches of the trees, so we sought to please 
our master ; so we learned our lessons ; so our tasks were 
light as air to us ; so we feasted on mental wealth, as de- 
lightful to us as the fragrance of the lilacs and the apple- 
blossoms that fringed the neighboring fields, the confines 
of our play- grounds. The larger little ones, boys and 
girls, and those more adolescent, were learning spelling, 
reading, and catechism, and had copy-books, arithmetics, 
and slates and pencils. I was a minim. I had learned my 
prayers at home, the prayers that all little ones usually 
learn, and that remain with them in their memories a 
blessing unto their dying day the Lord's Prayer, the 
Hail, Mary! the Apostles' Creed, and the little verses: 

"There are four corners on my bed ; 
There are four angels on them spread. 
Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, 
God bless the bed that I lie on." 

4 'Now I lay me down to sleep, 
I pray to God my soul to keep ; 
And if I die before I wake, 
I pray to God my soul to take. 

1 'God bless my father ; God rest my mother's soul, and 
the souls of all the faithful departed. ;; 

"Sweet Jesus, my Saviour, I give you my heart and 
soul. " 


At school I was the happy possessor of a primer that 
was fairly aglow with bright, beautiful pictures. I was 
sure and certain that my primer had more pictures in it 
than the primer of any boy or girl in school ; and I was the 
challenger of every boy and girl in school to cog pictures 
with me, as we termed our contest, which usually went on 
in this way: 

"Show me one for that." "There it is." 
"Show me one for that." "There it is." 
"Show me one for that. " "There it is." 

And so the contest went on, picture for picture, until one 
or other of the combatants had shown his last picture, 
whilst the other had pictures yet to show; then the van- 
quished had to acknowledge defeat. But this mode of 
learning was contraband of school. And at school as 
well as at war there is usually no lack of spies. The 
spies, as impudent and shameless as barking dogs on their 
hind legs, usually stood up straight in school and cried 
out to the master: "Two here, sir, cogging pictures!'' 
This mi)a voce indictment in open court usually put a stop 
to the young gamblers, and before they had finished the 

Each page of my^primer had a large, beautiful pict- 
ure illustrating a letter of the alphabet, with which letter 


the name of the object-picture began. This letter, the 
one to be learned from that page, was printed in large and 
small type, set above or by the side of the picture. Each 
picture had a short legend in rhyme, telling what the pict- 
ure signified. The pleasure of looking at the beautiful 
pictures in their bright coloring kept me busy turning the 
pages over, and learning the letters explained to me by 
the teacher, or more usually by some little boy or girl 
who knew more than I did, and who seemed wonderfully 
learned to me. The task of learning the alphabet by this 
method was easy and pleasant, and, with the rhymes 
once learned, could never be forgotten. Now, after a 
lapse of more than sixty years, rny mind having been im- 
pressed by numberless ideas, most of which are beyond 
recall, the primer lesson of childhood abides, fresh as a 
new-born flower a joy that never fades. Thus went the 
rhymes that rhymed : 

"A, a, was an ass hard laden with goods; 
B, b, was a bear that lived in the woods. 

"C, c, was a cat that killed rats in the night; 
D, d, was a dog that would snarl and bite. 

"E, e, was an elephant, and fifty years old; 
F, f , was a fowler, both crafty and bold. 

"G, g> was a goat that lived in the hills; 
H, h, was a horse that carried bags to the mills. 


"I, i, was a jay that would prate in a pie ; 
K, k, was a kite that soared in the sky. 

"L, 1, was a leopard, and spotted with grey; 
M, m, was a mongrel fish that lived in the sea. 

"N, n, was a nightingale that sang in the spring; 
O, o, was an owl, an ill-looking thing. 

"P, p, was a parrot that would chatter and prate ; 
Q, q, was a quail that piped early and late. 

"R, r, was a robber that died by the rope; 
S, s, was a sultan as great as a Pope. 

"T, t, was a tailor, a lover of apes; 
V, v, was a viper of different shapes. 

"W, w, was a wolf dog that guarded the fold; 
X, x, was a Xantippe, a terrible scold.' 1 

The following is another primer rhyme from the 
hedge school at Rahen: 

"A was an apple pie; 
B bit it, 
C cut it, 
D divided it, 
E eat it, 
F fought for it, 
G got it, 
H had it, 
I eyed it, 
I, longed for it, 
O opened it, 
P peeped at it, 


Q quartered it, 
R ran for it, 
S sought it, 
T turned it, 
V viewed it, 

X, Y, Z, I wish I had a piece of it 
in my hand." 

But Rahen is no more; or, rather, what is Rahen now 
is not the Rahen that was in the former years. The 
teacher of the village school is gone has gone long since 
to his heavenly reward. The beautiful little boys and 
girls that played at Rahen under the hawthorns and the 
elms, and that learned their lessons at the Rahen school, 
are there no longer. Of the fifteen or twenty homes, 
wherein as many families dwelt in peace and contentment, 
not one remains. Over these humble dwellings and hap- 
py firesides the green grass grows. The place is silent 
as death and solitary as the grave. Emigration, persecu- 
tion, inhuman legislation, have done their baneful work. 
The virtues and the affections that dwelt there are as if 
they never had been. No trace is left of humble lives 
most worthy of recall. Of these obliterated homes may 
be said, as of a famous city of old, "Even the very ruins 
have perished." Of these ruins of Rahen, only one re- 
mains; not immediately within the village site, but on its 


confines "a noble wreck in ruinous perfection, standing, 
withjplf its battlements, alone." Windowless and roof- 
less, it withstands the fury of the elements. The Ra- 
hen Great House, it is still called; the home of the Ra- 
hen O'Gradys a young barrister and his two beautiful 
maiden sisters, who, refusing to renounce their Catholic 
faith for worldly possessions and preferments, fled with 
their honor and their lives to France; to what part of 
France no one knows, as from them no word has ever 
come back to their native country or the home of their 


At seven years of age I was sent to school to Michael 
Kelly, who taught in the village of Holy Cross, one mile 
distant from the family residence. The way led to school 
by no public road, but by a private path through fields, 
meadows, and groves and along hawthorn hedges, where 
there were, in the season, apple-blossoms in profusion, 
and many birds' nests in the sweet-scented bushes in 
spring. I was not alone, nor was that path to and from 
school a solitary one, mornings and evenings ; with me was 
a gay, noisy, thoughtless troop of more than twenty little 
ones, boys and girls, from several neighboring families. 


Merrily we hied and played along together : chasing the 
little birds on the bushes, racing for the brightest prim- 
roses that grew along the path; watching the crows and 
magpies that nested in the groves; wondering how the 
little skylarks that we heard singing above the clouds 
could have got up so high; listening to the cuckoos that 
cooed from tree to tree and that were followed by flocks 
of smaller birds, who, charmed by the cuckoos' coos, 
forgot their own sweet warblings. 

Often we started up from their warm, cozy beds in 
the meadows hares and rabbits, who delighted and 
amazed us by their agility and speed as they scampered 
off, bobbing their white tails in the distance. Some- 
times, too, we were frightened and put on the run by 
wicked-looking weasels and thorny porcupines. All these 
encounters and adventures furnished reasons more than 
enough for our loitering along the way and why our 
hearts were beating when, coming in sight of the school- 
house, we knew we were late and that a strict accounting 
awaited us as to how and where we had spent our time 
all the morning up to that late hour of the day. Ah! 
well may little ones fear when they know they have not 
been good and have to answer to a strict teacher for their 
sight-seeing and their loitering. 


We were children easily frightened, as the following 
will show: Once, on our way to school, as usual not 
hurrying, we had passed through a clump of trees called 
Murnane's Grove and were emerging therefrom over a 
stile, when we saw corning towards us a tall man, wear- 
ing a battered straw hat and tattered clothes. He was 
laughing, as we thought, and reading aloud to him- 
self from a screed of torn paper he held in his hand; 
nobody in hearing that we could see. We looked at him; 
he looked at us with a wild look, as we thought. In- 
stantly some little one of our company shrieked aloud, 
4 * Madman! Madman!" Presently we broke ranks and 
stampeded, each one screaming and running as for bare 
life. We could not be rallied until we had reached home. 
For the whole day we were out of breath, thinking the 
madman was following us. The next day it took a man 
as big as a giant and with a club as long as a young tree 
to go before us through Murnane's Grove and save us 
from the madman on our way to and returning from 
school. The cry " Madman !" was then a common terror 
to little ones. Only then had humane efforts been well 
begun in Ireland to gather lunatics from the roads and 
byways and sequester them in asylums. 


I learned fast at that Holy Cross school, or I con- 
jecture I did so, from the fact, which I remember well, 
that I was able to write and read writing between my 
seventh and eighth years. In the foot-line of the copy- 
book of one of my companions I read the date, as written 
there, January i, 1836. "That is not correct/ 1 said I. 
"Blot out 1836 and write 1837; we are now in the year 


I remember very well some stirring events of that 
year, 1837. One of these events was, that day after day 
detachments of red-coated British soldiers carrying guns, 
bayonets, and knapsacks, with flags flying, regimental 
bands playing, and big drums beating, passed by our 
school-house on the way to Cork to embark for Canada, 
where a bloody war was going on and where (as it was 
said) all British soldiers were killed as soon as they 
landed. The reports that reached Ireland of the great 
slaughter going on in Canada made the poor soldiers 
downhearted and caused many of them to desert on the 
way to Cork. As the several detachments marched by, 
all the little ones of the school, boys and girls, usually 
rushed pell-mell out of doors; and many were the sighs 
and tears from aching hearts and weeping eyes in pity for 


the poor soldiers, who were going away across the sea to 
be killed and who were never more to see Ireland again. 
Another event of that year, 1837, is fresh in my 
memory. Three or four of us, young lads from eight to 
ten years of age, were on our way to school together. 
Noticing with delight that we were a squad of boys only, 
for we hated the little girls, who, though our sisters or 
cousins, were usually spies upon us and tell-tales against 
us at school and at home ; so we were glad we had none of 
the little dames with us "little hussies," we sometimes 
called them. In our unbounded happiness for our 
greater freedom and in search for adventures new, we 
left the usual path through the fields and meadows and 
took a more round-about way, through what was called 
the Rockbarton demesne, from which there was an exit 
to a public road that led to Holy Cross. Passing by the 
elegant church with its massive tower, commonly called 
the White Hall Steeple, that stood on the side of the road 
opposite to the grand three-gate entrance to the Rock- 
barton Manor House and demesne of Lord Viscount 
Guillamore, Chief Baron O'Grady, we noticed that the 
splendid gate opening into the pleasure-grounds that sur- 
rounded the church was ajar. Passing through this gate, 
we went to the front door of the church, which we found 


open. Looking into the inside of the church, we saw no 
one there; we heard no voices or footsteps. Presently 
one of our company, Carroll by name, ran into the 
body of the church, down the aisle, and up into the 
pulpit, where, having found a large gilt Bible, he tore out 
its pages from cover to cover and scattered them in hand- 
.fuls over the pews and floor, as a storm whirls amain 
the brown leaves of autumn in the forest. Needless to 
say, this act was not aforethought, nor had Carroll 
any motive for entering the church other than from 
curiosity or the restlessness of youth. He was English 
born, a native of London, on a visit for a season to his 
relatives in Ireland. But his act, though but a moment- 
ary impulse, showed not only irreverence, but hatred al- 
so of the church he had entered. It was the Church the 
Government of England had forced on the Irish people 
against their will and had compelled the Irish people to 
support and maintain, although opposed to their con- 
science. This unfortunate Church had caused great 
trouble in England and her colonies. It was from the 
persecutions of this Church that the Puritan fled to New 
England and the Catholic to Maryland, to find in the 
wilderness and amongst savage tribes the peace denied 
them at home. No doubt it was the knowledge of these 


persecutions, learned by Carroll from his parents in 
England and from his friends in Ireland, that inspired 
him to do his fiercely wild and thoughtless act. Well and 
fully he had known that the pulpit he had entered was 
an intruder and a plunderer in Ireland that the gilded 
Bible, the glittering church, the ruddy, rotund parson, 
with his well-fed, well-dressed wife and children and 
servants around him, and who dwelt in a luxurious glebe- 
house with park and lawn surroundings, were not repre- 
sentative or expositive of the true and honest gospel of 
Christ. He knew too well what was in the mouths of 
everyone, that all this wealth, grandeur, and show of the 
Church of England, as established in Ireland, was pro- 
cured from the sales of church property robbed from the 
Irish Catholics and from tithes collected from them by 
distraint at the mouth of the cannon and the point of the 
bayonet, whilst the Catholics were outlawed for adhering 
to their faith and driven from the shelter of home to die 
of hunger and cold by the roadside. As a matter of fact, 
one of these youngsters with Carroll was a member of a 
familv that in the preceding generation had been dis- 
trained of home and lands, which were converted into a 
glebe demesne for one of the predecessors of the parson 
who lost his Government Bible at Carroll's hands. The 


gang of young rebels who saw what Carroll had done 
felt no remorse for his deed as a companion of theirs, 
and loyally they kept his secret. That parson never 
learned who it was that entered his pulpit and gave his 
glittering folios to the winds. The young Rapparees, 
who were the parson's undoing, had hearts true as steel 
and that were afire with love and loyalty to their native 
country and its persecuted religion. 

The Lord Viscount Guillamore, Chief Baron O'Grady, 
resident owner of Rockbarton Great House and demesne, 
herein spoken of, was Standish O'Grady, barrister-at-law, 
assistant to Sir William Conyngham Plunkett, Attorney- 
General for Ireland at the trial of Robert Emmet in 1803, 
was promoted to the peerage in 1831, and died at Rock- 
barton House, April 20, 1840, aged seventy years. I 
knew him well, and his children and grandchildren. I 
was at his funeral, with many other boys of my size and 
age, in uniform of scarf and white zephyr bands fastened 
around our caps and festooned loosely over our necks 
and shoulders. The body lay in state for a week in the 
baron's spacious library, waiting for the nobility of Ire- 
land to assemble at the funeral. On the day of the 
funeral the body, in a leaden coffin, was passed out 
through a window of the library, which was in the lower 


story of the house, opening on the lawn. Six horses, ca- 
parisoned in black velvet with gold fringes, attached to 
the lofty funeral car with its nodding plumes of sable 
black, bore the body away to the O'Grady family vault 
in the Knockany churchyard, three miles distant. The 
inscription, "Vulneratus V ictus," on the door of the 
O'Grady burial vault, but too truly symbolized the fam- 
ily's fallen condition. But notwithstanding their defec- 
tion in modern times from faith and country, the Irish 
people have an undying love for the O'Gradys, on account 
of their old-time loyalty and their many virtues in the 
days gone by. The present incumbent of the Lord Vis- 
count Guillamore peerage is Hardress Standish O'Grady, 
grandson of the said Chief Baron O'Grady, who died in 
1840. Hardress Standish O'Grady is (now in 1898) the 
fifth successor to that peerage since its erection in 1831, 
and, being without issue, the peerage will die with him. 
Blessings have not followed those who persecuted poor 
Emmet in the dock and who likewise bore down unmerci- 
fully on many others for having been loyal to Ireland. 
The O'Gradys are dying out fast. The several branches 
of the once loved and respected old family are the fol- 
lowing: O'Gradys of Kilballyowen, O'Gradys of Grange, 
O'Gradys of Rockbarton and Cahirguillamore. All these 


are perverts. Only one branch of the family remained 
loyal and faithful the O'Gradys of Rahen, of whom 
mention has been already made in these pages. 

My lessons at Holy Cross village school were spelling, 
reading, writing, arithmetic, catechism, Bible history. I 
am not vain if I say I learned fast at that Holy Cross 
village school; I know I did learn fast there. But my 
growing diligence was mainly due to the magic of the 
badge of office in the master's hand. That keen-sighted 
master soon saw very well that sweet smiles and honeyed 
words had as much weight as chaff with most of the 
youngsters he had to manage. There was one kind of 
persuasion that had full value with those lads, and that 
was the rattle on the jackets on their backs from a cat-o'- 
nine tails of regulation pattern, or the bumps on their 
heads from blows with the brass door-knob that decorated 
the handle end of the said cat. They were not of the 
faint-hearted kind, ever willing to atone by sobs and 
sighs for faults they had not been convicted of, or to 
make promises they did not mean to keep, abridging their 
freedom; for although they knew well that the stripes 
they got across their shoulders were condign, yet they 
were not fully prepared to admit that they had been 
totally conquered. A thousand times worse than silly 


they would have been, which they never were indeed, to 
appeal from the grand mogul of the school to the powers 
at home for reversal of judgment. Such reversal, if they 
got it, would be a worthless salve for punishment already 
inflicted. Stripes and bruises from the master's hand 
were the loudest kind of evidence that the young lads had 
been in mischief, and that the chastisement they got 
was not half of what they had deserved would be the 
parental supreme court decision. 

Once, in company with several other boys, having 
loitered too long on the way to school, and fearing cor- 
rection for tardiness for which we had no sufficient ex- 
cuse, we turned aside from the pathway and hid ourselves 
in a thick furze covert of several acres in extent. When 
evening came, we went home as usual and kept silent as 
to where we had been. The next day we played truant 
again. Truants we were again, and then day after day 
for a week or more. Ah, how much pleasanter it was to a 
gang of truant boys to be in hiding under bushes than to 
be too conveniently near the tip end of the master's cat- 
o'-nine- tails ! The covert in which we hid was thickly 
set with tall pine trees, to which the furze was an under- 
growth. There we climbed trees, looked for birds' nests, 
ran races, played hide and seek, masqueraded grand Turk 


and Indian chief, our heads turbaned with pine plumes 
and rushes. Our biggest boy, the most stalwart fellow 
amongst us, we threw down on the ground on his face 
and hands, then we stretched him lengthwise across a 
steep water-drain, and on his long back enjoyed ourselves, 
chasing each other over and hither, as in the picture in 
our books we saw squirrels running on a log. But our 
hey-day was soon to come to an end. We had been missed 
from school. Search was made for us. Ah, the mean 
scouts that betrayed us! I/ike snakes, they crawled on 
the grass and hid behind bushes until they spied us. Then 
they went and told the master. A posse comitatus of big 
boys from the school was sent to gather us in. We were 
surrounded, trapped, captured, and marched ignominiously 
into the master's presence. Without formalities, we were 
sentenced to die the death. I began to make a speech 
from the dock. Before a word was out of my mouth, I 
was grasped, as in a vise, by the rough hands of the 
biggest boy in school. That fellow's back was the 
common gallows, on which truant boys paid the penalty 
for their misdeeds, and when the execution was over, it 
was considerable time before the felon that died the death 
showed himself anyjway lively again. 


Riding was one of our favorite sports in those days. 
We usually indulged in it on school holidays, or when the 
master was sick, which meant we were scott-free until he 
had got over the measles. Our riding-course comprised 
two large adjoining fields, called Barnhill and Feahmoor, 
which were traversed by lines of hillocks with sharp 
ascents and declivities and by steep earthen dikes or 
ramparts curtained by water. This was the topography 
of Feahmoor, where the riding exploits took place. The 
Barnhill was rather more rocky, and therefore more sug- 
gestive of cracked skulls and broken bones of inexpert 
young jockies. These fields, to the great delight of us 
youngsters, had a never-failing supply of lively, well-fed 
donkeys, young and old. Old donkeys were not boys' 
first choice, on account of their vicious habits, of biting 
their riders* legs and rushing their riders against thorny 
hedges and stone walls. Young donkeys were more 
choice, as more inexperienced in warfare with bad boys, 
who usually wished to enjoy a ride without being put 
hors de combat. To ride a fast young donkey and to hold 
on his back trotting and galloping and in spite of hoisting, 
kicking, and rearing, constituted a boy an undergraduate 
in assmanship. But the honor of a diploma was re- 
served for the final test, to be made with the rider's face 



towards the donkey's tail. At this tournament it was 
against the rules, and was inconvenient besides, to use a 
bridle ; but the, rider might hold on to the wool as best he 
could. Success achieved under these circumstances was 
proclaimed by the whole field with vociferous rejoicing. 
Discomfiture, on the other hand, never failed to be fol- 
lowed by roars of side-splitting laughter, especially if the 
young knight-errant should happen to land heels up in a 
mud-puddle or in a ditch of water. Not every boy, after 
a defeat or two of that kind, would be willing to try it 
again; and boys with soiled jackets and pants and mud- 
died shirt-tuckers were usually not gallant enough to face 
their mammas at home, for full well they knew what 
strong faith these mammas had in the virtue of the tough 
birch twig that was kept ready for use and that was 
well seasoned. 

Our less exciting exercises were fishing, swimming, 
hurling, running, leaping, vaulting, wrestling, throwing 
cast, climbing trees, playing leap-frog, scaling old castles 
and old abbey walls. In all these accomplishments I 
was post-graduate at the ripe age of ten. It was then no 
doubt clearly seen, fully as well as I knew it myself, that 
the village school of Holy Cross could not hold me in leash 
much longer. As to what conclusions in regard to me 



had been reached then by those who had me in charge I 
was not particularly informed. Very soon, however, I 
was given an opportunity to comprehend their full force 
and meaning. An elderly gentleman arrived at my 
father's house Mr. Patrick Ignatius Mulcaire by name, 
by occupation a college professor, then in retirement from 
duty. With formalities appropriate to his dignity and my 
dubiosity, I was introduced to him as my teacher. He 
proceeded to express his sincere good wishes for me and 
his hopes for my success. His speech was condescending 
and graceful, but, stripped of its verbiage, it meant, in 
short, that he had me by the nape of the neck and that I 
had better at once submit and recognize his government 
of me as de facto. 


Mr. Mulcaire, a man of business, was not slow to ar- 
range a curriculum for me and to order the necessary class- 
books. These were chiefly Lindley Murray's English 
Grammar, JBsop's Fables in French, Eton Latin Gram- 
mar, a French Grammar, and selections from the writings 
and speeches of Edmund Burke, Henry Grattan, Richard 
Labor Shiel, and Daniel O'Connell. I had no trouble 
with the grammar lessons, as my memory was good, 



though not very retentive. My French lessons were not 
nsisted on very much, as they had increased my naturally 
slow and impeded articulation a very marked stammer 
>r stutter which it was Mr. Mulcaire's chief business to 
:each me to overcome. The grand and glowing elo- 
quence of Burke, Grattan, Curran, and Shiel was a delight 
;o me; and in the fervor which their brilliant periods 
cindled in my mind and feelings, my hesitancy in speech 
nelted away as ice before the breath of spring. One great 
Doint had been already gained for me by my astute 
eacher, who, having noticed my predisposition to choice 
eadings of prose and poetry of the better class, was upon 
,he alert to cater to my tastes in this respect. 

Amongst Mr. Mulcaire's selections for my benefit 
vere not only books of the aforesaid class, but newspapers 
ikewise, and those chiefly that contained the stirring de- 
>ates then going on in the British Parliament on questions 
>f absorbing interest the Chartist agitation for extend- 
>d suffrage, the Anti-Corn Law League led by Richard 
^obden, the free trade and income-tax policy of Sir Robert 
D eel as against excise duties on the necessaries of life. It 
vas my teacher's care to explain these topics to me and to 
trouse my interest in them ; also amongst his selections 
>f books for me were novels of the better class and that 


were written after the best models of English literature. 
Notably of this kind was "The Old English Baron/' a 
Gothic story of strong moral effect and intense interest to 
the youthful mind. I wonder why "The Old English 
Baron" has gone out of print, or how it is that it is un- 
published and unknown in America? Cordery's "Latin 
Colloquies " was another book selected for me by Mr. Mul- 
caire ; a very useful book it is for a boy learning to speak 
Latin. This book, too, as it seems, is unknown and un- 
published in America. I need not say that Mr. Mulcaire 
took great pains to procure for me the best and most 
useful books of piety and Christian instruction. During 
1839, 1840, and 1841 I continued to learn Latin, Greek, 
French, and English under Mr. Mulcaire's direction. 
During this time, instructed by him in the catechism, I 
made preparation for first communion and confirmation, 
which I then duly received. It is to him I owe the 
gradual bending of my mind to the love of study and my 
emancipation from inordinate love of play and playmates. 
His direction of me was effected by uniform kindness; 
and I do not remember that he ever had recourse to com- 
mands to keep me to the line of duty. His appointment 
as my teacher was by the advice of my oldest brother, 
then a professed member of the Franciscan Order, a stu- 


dent in the College of St. Isidore at Rome, where he died 
on the eve of his advancement to holy orders. At this 
stage of studies, being in my twelfth year, it was decided 
that I should contend with my equals at the classical 
schools ; especially those most frequented by students for 
the ecclesiastical state. 


Accordingly, in 1842, I attended a classical school, 
taught by Mr. Thomas Heffernan, at Meanus, one mile 
westward from the family residence. This school was 
taught in the Chapel of Meanus, which was succursal to 
the parish of Bruff. Mass was celebrated in the Meanus 
Chapel on Sundays and holy days and for the convenience 
of such as could not go to mass at Bruff, which was three 
miles distant. The Chapel of Meanus, which was small 
and antiquated, was most attractive as a place of prayer 
and study. It stood on a grass plot, within a grove in- 
closed by a stone wall of good masonry, with an iron gate, 
and over all the embowering trees spread their sheltering 
branches. Within the chancel of that little chapel were 
four sanctuary pews, belonging to the four principal 
patronal families of the parish. The pew on the Epistle 
side belonged to four maiden sisters, the Misses Gleeson, 


the surviving members of a respectable family from 
ancient times, resident at Green Lawn, hard by the 
chapel. By invitation of these gentle ladies, I occupied 
their pew as a place of study and to keep my books in 
while attending the chapel school. The pew on the 
Gospel side of the sanctuary belonged to a respectable 
gentleman of dignified and patriarchal presence, Patrick 
O'Meara, Esq., of Boheryeela, who on the part of himself 
and members of his family, appointed his pew to Master 
Richard Kane, of Rathmore, for his use while a pupil of 
the chapel school. And here I cannot forbear expressing 
my feelings of tenderest affection for one so dear to me as 
Richard Kane. A graceful boy he was, scarce twelve 
years old, with a face ever wreathed in smiles and fair as 
an angel's. His wavy curling hair fell down, in soft, loose 
folds over the velvet jacket that draped his delicate 
shoulders. Rather timid and diffident he was, but offen- 
sive or disagreeable never. Gentleness, intelligence, af- 
fection, devotion, dutifulness, were his characteristics as 
a schoolboy. In no other vesture did his nature clothe 
him. He, too, devoted himslf to the American missions. 
Having crossed the ocean at the age of eighteen, he readily 
obtained admission into Mount St. Mary's Seminary, Em- 
mitsburg, Md., where, having distinguished himself as a 


student and professor, he was adopted by the Most Rev- 
erend Anthony Blanc, D.D., Archbishop of New Orleans, 
and was for that diocese ordained priest in 1854, being then 
in his twenty- third year. As assistant priest, secretary to 
the Archbishop, chancellor of the diocese, college profes- 
sor, newspaper editor, he worked laboriously until, borne 
down by ill health, he departed this life in the nineteenth 
year of his priesthood and the forty-second of his age, on 
August 27, 1873. Ma Y God grant his immortal soul 
eternal rest and peace. Amen. 

On my way through Ireland in 1869, to attend the 
Vatican Council at Rome, I stopped for a moment at 
Meanus. There, staring widely around, I looked for the 
old chapel ; it was gone ; no trace of it was to be found ; 
the trees had disappeared; the walls had been leveled 
and scattered; the iron gate had been taken away; a new 
chapel of better construction had been erected near by 
on another site. But the dear old chapel the chapel of 
my childhood, with all its loving memories and tender 
associations gone, gone, gone! Ah! who will say that 
this world does not change, or that those who were young 
do not grow old? Ah! my poor heart was sore. There I 
stood, alone, alone ! Those that I had loved they were 
not there ! 



Ash Wednesday morning, March i, 1843, marks the 
beginning of a sadness for me, which seems never-ending. 
It was a cold and dreary day. A floss of white frost hung 
on the branches of the trees and on the grass of the 
meadows and fields. I was fourteen years of age; in 
jacket and trousers. My brother, six years my senior, 
took me gently by the arm and spoke kindly to me. I 
could make no reply to him. My sobs were too deep for 
utterance; my gushing tears were as "the raindrops 
without measure." Never until then had I felt the full 
depth of my sorrow an unhappy boy without a mother 
to pity me or to give me with her blessing a farewell word 
at parting. I was told not to sob and cry, for I was not 
going away to never come back; but I knew better. I 
felt that the shadow of the future that was before me was 
not that I would not see home again, but that my setting 
out from home meant a life- journey in that one direction. 
At the schools of Rahen, Holy Cross, and Meanus I was 
at home, for I returned home every evening; but to go to 
school many miles away meant to be from home and 
amongst strangers. How could I endure it ? Why should 
I have been told to go away and to stay away? 


'Home of my fathers ! Silent tomb, 

Where sleep the hopes of former years ! 
How many flowers have lost their bloom 

Since then I left thee, bathed in tears ; 
How many joys that youth had given 

Amid thy fragrant bowers are hushed ; 
How many silver links been riven 

From life's long chain, time-worn and crushed!" 

Thursday, March 2, 1843, I entered the best school in 
the diocese of Limerick, the one at Croom, conducted by 
an accomplished and agreeable gentleman and a thorough 
scholar, Mr. Patrick Kenny, with an attendance of fifty 
young men, for classics only. 

That year, 1843, was a memorable year in the history 
of Ireland. The temperance movement, begun in 1835, 
by Rev. Theobald Mathew, had by this time leavened 
the whole Irish people to sobriety, unanimity, and peace- 
fulness, and with these went the additional blessings of 
fruitful harvests and general prosperity. Never before in 
Ireland was there such an advance altogether of the most 
powerful factors and agencies, of religious, intellectual, 
social, and moral progress. There was a constantly in- 
creasing attendance at the churches, colleges, schools, 
lyceums, reading-rooms, lecture-halls, trades-meetings, 
mercantile clubs, agricultural associations, orchestral en- 
tertainments, fair and hurling green amusements, and 


over all were spread the blessed angel wings of peace and 
virtue. Never before had the population of Ireland at- 
tained the numbers it counted on that year 8,750,000 

In the midst of all these blessings that presaged 
greater blessings to come, Daniel O'Connell, the great 
Irish leader, unfurled the banner of repeal, as it was 
called, which meant home government for Ireland. 
Strange to say that Ireland, a nation of 8,750,000 people, 
larger in territory than Greece and Switzerland together 
or than Holland and Belgium together, that had furnished 
Wellington and Nelson with half their army and naval 
forces that had conquered the world, should be without a 
legislature of its own, as in fact it is unto this present day ; 
strange to say that an enlightened and liberty-loving 
nation, as England is said to be, should have legislated 
so adversely and should so continue to legislate adversely 
to Ireland and its wishes and interests. 

In 1496 the English statute, 10 King Henry VII., 
known as the Poyning Law, from its promoter Edward 
Poyning, an Englishman, Lord Deputy for Ireland, en- 
acted that Englishmen should govern Ireland, and that 
Ireland had of itself no legislative power to introduce a 
law not first passed and sanctioned by England. From 


1496 to 1782 that is to say, for 286 years, this kind of 
legislation kept Ireland impoverished and degraded. 

During the American War for Independence, Ireland, 
denuded of British troops sent off to the American war, 
raised an army for home protection and defense in any 
emergency that might arise. This army, 80,000 strong, 
called the Irish Volunteers, armed and equipped in 1779, 
was thoroughly Irish in organization, spirit, and purpose. 
England would have prevented this Irish volunteer move- 
ment had she not been then engaged with all her forces 
in the American war. 

Following the final defeat of the English at York- 
town, October 17, 1781, the Irish Volunteers, not having 
availed of the opportunity to free their own country while 
England was in battle, had now to disband or proclaim 
the independence of Ireland, which they were unwilling 
or unable to maintain. However, before disbanding and 
while still armed and organized, they held a convention at 
Dungannon, in County Tyrone, and there resolved that 
Irishmen only should thenceforward legislate for Ireland 
and rule it. This resolution of the Irish Volunteers, who 
were still under arms, was formulated by Henry Grattan 
into an ultimatum and forthwith laid before the British 
Parliament in words, "We demand immediate repeal of 


Poyning's law." This ultimatum of the Irish Volunteers, 
presented by Henry Grattan, passed both houses of the 
British Parliament simultaneously in April, 1782. There- 
upon Henry Grattan, having obtained what was called 
"the Constitutional Charter of 1782," returned to Ireland 
and disbanded the Volunteers. In his rejoicing he ex- 
claimed in a public address: "Ireland is now a nation. 
In that august character I hail her. Bowing to her august 
presence, I say, 'Esto perpetual y " But alas ! and not for 
the first time, Ireland was doomed to disappointment by 
England's insincerity. The Volunteer Parliament faded 
with the fading ranks of the Volunteers. In 1800 Grat- 
tan's "esto perpetua" idol was lifted off her pedestal in 
Dublin and taken to London, whither Irishmen must 
now go to bow to her august presence. 

The humiliating sense and shame of all this wrong 
and injustice aroused the great heart and soul of O'Con- 
nell to unite and lead the Irish people in a peaceable 
demand upon England for a restoration to Ireland of 
her rights and liberty. The Irish people, responsive to 
O'Connell, organized the monster meetings of Tar a and 
Mullaghmast, where hundreds of thousands assembled, 
and the no less enthusiastic gatherings at every city, 
town, village, and cross-roads, wherever the great cham- 



pion of liberty was to pass along on his journeys. The 
students of the Croom Classical School, headed by their 
esteemed and distinguished teacher, Mr. Patrick Kenny, 
never failed to attend these repeal meetings whenever 
held within a day's journey; and entrancing was our de- 
light hearing the great Irish tribune in defense of human 
liberty, and the thunder of his arguments denouncing 
tyranny and bondage. In the words and spirit of our 
illustrious pontiff, Leo XIII., who, when a young man, 
heard O'Connell deliver a speech in the British House of 
Parliament, I can fully and truly say of O'Connell, "Fuit 
magnus! " (' * Great he was ! ") 

To bear the expense of the campaign for repeal, 
O'Connell organized an association, of which almost every 
man and boy in Ireland was a member. Upon payment 
of one shilling towards the funds of the association, the 
payer became a member and was entitled to have his 
name enrolled as a Repealer, in evidence of which a 
certificate of membership was given him, as follows: 



The bearer, ............ , having paid one 

shilling, is enrolled as a Repealer on the books of 
ffo Association. 

Dated //m- .... day o/ ..... , 1843. 

1782 Irish Parliament. It was, and shall be. 

Each member of the Association got with his Repeal 
card a large, shining brass button, emblazoned with ap- 
propriate national emblems, which, as a loyal Repealer, 
he was required to wear conspicuously on his breast. 
The shining, conspicuous Repeal brass button never failed 
to bring on a contest when an anti- Repealer caught sight 
of it. The spirit of the conflict was usually somewhat as 
the following : 

On one of my occasional returns to my father's house 
for a day from the Croom school, in company with one of 
my brothers, I rambled leisurely from my father's farm 
into the adjoining Cahir demesne of Lord Guillamore, 
where, on the main avenue in front of the Cahir Manor 
House, we met his lordship, who, upon seeing us, walked 


towards us, and, as we bowed to him, put the following 
questions to us, to which my brother replied : 

" Aren't you, my good boys, some of the Hogans of 

"Please your lordship, we are. 11 

"Sons to James Hogan?" 

"Yes, please your lordship. " 

"What are those buttons you wear on your breasts?" 

"They are Repeal buttons, please your lordship." 

"What is a Repeal button?" 

"A Repeal button, please your lordship, is a badge 
to signify that the person who wears it is a petitioner to 
the English Government to give back to Ireland the Par- 
liament which the English Government has taken away 
from Ireland." 

"Does your father know that you wear that button?" 

"He does, my lord." 

"I wonder at your father to give you such liberty." 

We bowed profoundly; his lordship turned his back 
to us and walked away. 

As already stated in these pages, Standish O'Grady, 
Assistant Attorney-General for Ireland, was promoted to 
the peerage of Ireland in 1831 under the title of lyOrd 
Viscount Guillamore, and died in 1840. His oldest son, 


Colonel Standish O'Grady, commander of a regiment at 
Waterloo, succeeded to said peerage in 1840, but con- 
tinued to occupy his usual residence, the Cahir Manor 
House, which stood upon the same demesne as the Rock- 
barton Manor House ; the two residences being about a 
half-mile apart. This second Guillamore it was who 
questioned us on the meaning of the Repeal buttons, 
which he knew better than we could tell him. He 
died in 1847. After him came his eldest son, Standish 
O'Grady, a minor, and under a guardian until 1851, when 
he became third Lord Guillamore, but did not enjoy the 
peerage long. After the third Lord Guillamore came his 
next oldest brother, Paget O'Grady, fourth Lord Guilla- 
more, who died in 1877, and was succeeded by his next 
oldest brother, Hardress Standish O'Grady, the fifth 
Lord Guillamore, the present incumbent. The third and 
fourth Guillamores, Standish and Paget O'Grady, were 
my playmates in our young days, at Cahirguillamore, on 
the beautiful cricket-ground, the orchard meadow, near 
the Cahir manor house. 

In 1843 O'Connell had already won to his cause the 
moral support, not only of Ireland, but, in a measure, of 
the whole world, the British Government excepted. To 
lure him from his purpose over to the Government side, 


he was offered the office of Chief Baron of the Exchequer, 
or Master of the Rolls, if he preferred it ; but he had de- 
voted himself to the service, not of the English Govern- 
ment, but of the Irish people, and in their service he 
would remain to his latest breath. Bribery failing, the 
English Government had recourse to its next readiest 
weapon, coercion. By hook or by crook, O'Connell had 
to be crushed. As there was no law whereby to stop him, 
it was proposed to make a law that would have that 
effect; but, as tyrants viewed the case, law-making was 
unnecessary they had bayonets and cannon and the 

O'Connell called a Repeal meeting, to be held at 
Clontarf on October 8, 1843. His mottoes then, as always, 
were, " Peaceable petitions," "Not the shedding of one 
drop of blood." On October 7th, as the people of Ireland 
were moving from all directions towards Clontarf to at- 
tend the meeting, the Government issued a proclamation 
prohibiting the meeting and made arrangements for de- 
ploying 50,000 soldiers, cavalry, artillery, and infantry, 
at the place of meeting. O'Connell at once sent couriers 
in all directions, warning the people of the danger and 
telling them to go back home, for the Government had 
taken measures to massacre them. 


On the eighth day after the date of the prohibited 
meeting an -indictment for conspiracy and sedition was 
made out against O'Connell, pursuant to which he was 
arrested. His trial commenced in Dublin on January 15, 
1844, before Chief Justice Pennefeather and three as- 
sociate justices and a jury specially impanelled. Argu- 
ments and pleading were unavailing; the jury returned a 
verdict of guilty. Sentence was passed on O'Connell 
one year in jail, 2,000 fine, 5,000 security to keep the 
peace. O'Connell was forthwith incarcerated in the Rich- 
mond Bridewell, in Dublin. His friends appealed his 
case to the House of Ix>rds, who referred it to five judges 
of their body; two of these judges were for affirming the 
sentence against O'Connell, three of them were for re- 
versal of the sentence. The judges reversing the sen- 
tence said in their decision: "If such practices as had 
taken place in the present instance in Ireland should con- 
tinue, trial by jury would become a mockery, a delusion, 
and a snare." O'Connell was set free. The whole world 
rang with applause for his triumph ; but, deprived of its 
legitimate results, his triumph was a defeat. O'Connell 
was thwarted in his career and at the point of final suc- 
cess. Justice to Ireland, impeded and balked by his ar- 
rest and imprisonment, wag set back, perhaps forever, 


England's tyranny triumphed. The cause of wrong it 
was, not O'Connell's cause, that succeeded. 

The weight of seventy years was upon O 1 Council's 
shoulders, and darker for him than old age were the 
shadows of disunion that lengthened apace with the ad- 
vance of those who proved disloyal to him and who failed 
to benefit Ireland by a change from his peace methods to 
force of arms. Borne down by sorrow and disappoint- 
ment more perhaps than by old age, he died on the I5th 
of May, 1847, at Genoa, on a pilgrimage to Rome to ask 
the blessing of the Holy Father, Pope Pius IX., and in- 
tending to end his life in that sacred city. 

I continued for two years, 1843 an d l &44> attend- 
ing the Croom Classical School, where I had for fellow- 
students the following who became priests, but are now 
no longer in this world: Rev. William Connery, parish 
priest of Coolcappa, diocese of Limerick; Rev. Michael 
Connery, parish priest of Ardpatrick, diocese of Limerick ; 
Rev. David Quaid, parish priest of Dromin, diocese of 
Limerick; Rev. John Conway, parish priest of Feenagh, 
diocese of Limerick; Rev. John Reeves, parish priest of 
Loughill, diocese of Limerick ; Rev. John Mulqueen, par- 
ish priest of Shanagolden, diocese of Limerick; Rev. 
Pavid Quinn, parish priest of Fedamore, diocese of Lim- 


erick; Rev. Richard Nagle, parish priest, diocese of San 
Antonio, Tex. May God grant these departed priests, 
His faithful servants, eternal rest and peace. Amen. 

My fellow-students at Croom who became priests 
and who are now (in 1898) surviving are the following: 
Very Rev. Thomas Hammond, vicar-general, parish priest 
of New Castle West, diocese of Limerick; Rev. Luke 
Gleeson, parish priest of Parteen, diocese of Limerick. 
May God grant those aged, venerable priests the grace of 
final perseverance and a happy death. Amen. 

One of my most beloved companions at Croorn, who 
did not become a priest, was Martin Hartigan, son of 
Timothy Hartigan, Esq., of Glenogra, County Limerick. 
Having passed his examinations with distinction in the 
preparatory colleges, he stopped abruptly at the gates of 
the great theological college of Maynooth. The dreadful 
responsibility of becoming a priest and pastor of souls 
intimidated him, and, though otherwise brave of heart as 
well as pure in morals and bright of intellect, he withdrew 
to the rank of layman, which state of life he adorned by 
edifying Christian example to his latest breath. 

I remember also a fellow-student, Patrick Leo by 
name, who got into trouble by his own fault at Croom 
and elsewhere. Actuated by jealous rivalry of a school- 


mate in study, he stealthily opened the schoolmate's desk 
and with a knife hacked to pieces the schoolmate's most 
valuable books. This schoolmate was Mr. John Conway, 
afterwards parish priest of Feenagh, and now dead, as 
hereinbefore stated. Upon investigation the act was 
proved against Patrick Leo, who, under penalty of public 
expulsion from the school, was adjudged to pay for the 
books and upon his knees to apologize to the whole school 
for his bad behavior. With floods of tears that bespoke 
mortified pride, he paid the money and made the humil- 
iating apology. 

The correction was a severe one for him the more so 
because he had not humility to bear it patiently. He left 
the Croom Classical School and entered the Queen's Col- 
lege at Cork, from which he wrote back defiantly to a 
fellow-student at Croom: "Not the bishop's chair I 
want, but the judge's bench. I have resigned the mi- 
tre and crozier. I hurrah now for the wig and gown/' 
From Cork he went to Dublin and entered Trinity Col- 
lege. At Dublin he married a stage actress and took her 
to the United States. Soon there was riot and bloodshed 
in some of the American cities, caused by a Protestant 
preacher named I/eo, who gathered money by defaming 
Catholics and the Catholic Church. The agitation he ex- 


cited in America getting too hot for his personal safety, 
he hurriedly put out to sea and crossed over to Ireland, 
where he was rewarded for his apostacy by a salaried 
living as a Protestant parson. His unhappy life soon 
afterwards came to an end by a sudden death. 


In January, 1845, I was transferred from the Croom 
Classical School to a school of the same kind at Herberts- 
town in the archdiocese of Cashel, intendedly for a higher 
grade of studies and a wider acquaintance with students. 
Of the Herbertstown students, over sixty in number, I 
remember but few. 

Michael Moriarty, of Grange, County Limerick, 
having finished his classical studies at Herbertstown, 
studied theology at All Hallows, Dublin; was ordained 
priest in 1853; entered the diocese of Salford, England; 
was promoted to a deanery; died in 1896. 

Jeremiah Moriarty, of Grange, County Limerick, 
after his classical course at Herbertstown, entered Queen's 
College, Cork; was promoted to office in civil service of 
the British Government in India. Borne down by the 
severity of the climate of India, he died in early life. 



Robert Wheeler, of Dublin, studied classics at Her- 
bertstown ; entered the Theological Seminary of St. Louis, 
Mo. ; was ordained priest in St. Louis in 1848 ; was assist- 
ant priest at St. Patrick's Church, St. Louis, in 1849 and 
1850; died in 1851. 

Patrick Kinane, a bright young student of the arch- 
diocese of Cashel, brother of the Very Rev. Thomas H. 
Kinane, archdeacon of Cashel, entered the Theological 
Seminary of the archdiocese of St. Louis, where his health 
failed. Beloved and esteemed by the college faculty 
and his fellow-students, he died when preparing for 
holy orders. 

Patrick Kirby, of Rathjordan, Herbertstown, County 
Limerick, having finished his classical studies, joined the 
Oblate Fathers of Dublin, of whom he is a distinguished 
member. Distinguished and respected he was when a 
classical student at Herbertstown. Now (in 1898) he re- 
sides at Inchicore, Dublin. He is, so far as I know, the 
only surviving member, besides myself, of the Herberts- 
town school of 1845. 



For my last year of classics (1846) it was thought it 
would benefit me to be amongst students of the diocese 
of Cloyne, who were always of fair reputation for diligence 
and attainments in study. Accordingly, in the first days 
of January, 1846, I was sent to Charleville, where there 
were two classical schools, the best in the south of Ire- 
land. I was delighted with the young men, from whose 
ranks many of the priests of the diocese of Cloyne were to 
be chosen. They were bright, studious, and gentlemanly. 
The Charleville school manifested great earnestness for 
work. The students were usually in their proper places 
at the proper time. There was but one daily session of 
six hours. The several classes followed each other in the 
order assigned them, from the study-rooms into the reci- 
tation-room, each class reciting for its allotted hour or 
half-hour, then retiring to make room for the next in- 
coming class. This was the usual order of the day in the 
several classical schools I attended, but nowhere else was 
the regularity maintained that prevailed at Charleville. 
The animating spirit of the students was: "Work, not 
play. Time is precious ; make good use of the fleeting 
hours." At this late day of my life, it being now two and 



fifty years since I stood in that school, I have lost nearly 
all trace of those who were my schoolmates there. Two 
of them that I remember best I will mention : 

Charley Daily, of Churchtown, County Cork, an angel 
in personal beauty, morals, amiableness of character, and 
exalted intelligence, died in that school year, 1846. Had 
he lived, no station in the Church or on the bench could be 
considered beyond his reach. Fortified by the sacraments, 
with the prayers and tears of his devoted fellow-students 
and sorrowing relatives, his death was peaceable, calm, 
and holy. In the early morning of life, but seventeen 
years of age, in his innocence and gracefulness, and before 
the dust and strife of advanced years could have left aught 
of taint upon him, he was called away by his Heavenly 
Father to a better world. The sweet, ingenuous ways 
and gentle smiles of that dear boy, who was as lovely as a 
morning flower, can never fade from my recollection. 

Next, I remember very well William Gleeson, of Kil- 
coleman, Nenagh, County Tipperary, a boy much beloved 
and petted by the members of the family to which he be- 
longed. Having completed his studies in Charleville in 
1846, he pursued his theological studies in the Irish Col- 
lege, Paris, where, by the invitation of Right Rev. John 
Timon, D.D., Bishop of Buffalo, he joined that diocese 


and was ordained priest in 1853. ^ e served in the diocese 
of Buffalo forty-two years, until his death on December 
2, 1895; having been for his last thirty- two years vicar- 
general of the diocese. 


My too protracted reading of classics left me deficient 
in exact science, which, in my tenth year I had discon- 
tinued at the termination of an ordinary course in arith- 
metic, in order to take up the Latin grammar. Having 
soared for years among the stars of the classical heavens, 
it seemed bewildering to me to think that from such 
heights I should come down and begin again from another 
starting-point. Very plain it was to me, as was clearly 
impressed upon my mind by those who knew more than 
I did, that without some knowledge of mathematics my 
education would be incomplete and disappointing to me. 
Though reluctant and somewhat late, I came to the de- 
cision that the defect should be remedied. Again, as 
when beginning classics, the parental care that was 
moving me along gave me a special teacher for math- 
ematics. For two years this adept teacher and school- 
boy grinder, Mr. Shaughnessy by name, who was not par- 
ticularly partial to classical scholars, for, as he said, they 


had no exact knowledge of anything, kept me constantly 
under mental strain with what I sometimes too carpingly 
called his infinitesimal problems. Having gone through 
the mathematical mill, I can aver that it is the heaviest 
kind of brain-work, for which no labor-saving machinery 
has yet been patented, even by Yankee ingenuity. Ge- 
ometry, algebra, trigonometry, land surveying, civil en- 
gineering, and astronomy are not the light gossamery 
things flaunted by Cicero in his "De Oratore," or by 
Edmund Burke in his essay on the sublime and beautiful. 


In the autumn of 1845, when the Irish farmers were 
confidently looking for a continuance of the plentiful 
crops of preceding years, an unprecedented state of 
affairs met their wondering gaze. Their principal source 
of plentifulness, the potato crop, had turned to blight 
and rottenness. 

One year's loss, though attended by much distress, 
was cheerfully borne, with the buoyant hope that next 
year's crop would be sound and plentiful; but the next 
year's crop, that of 1846, was beyond comparison worse 
than that of 1845. There was now no hope. Famine 


stared the people in the face ; and those who viewed the 
situation in its full import were blanched with fear, for 
the food of the people was rotted before their eyes. 
Eight million seven hundred thousand people were 
without their daily food, and most of them had not where- 
with to support life for one day. Not the locust, or the 
canker-worm, or the mildew, or the palmer-worm had 
devoured the crop; it was blighted, and it withered. 
Soon those whose means of support had been used to the 
last morsel had to go out of doors to beg help from their 
no less needy neighbours. Day by day the famine- 
stricken multitude increased, and made beaten paths as 
wide as public roads through the grassy fields and the 
ploughed lands, going from house to house and from 
village to village, begging a morsel of food from others as 
distressed as themselves. The famine cry soon reached 
the ears of the English people and the English Parliament 
who governed Ireland. 

The Duke of Cambridge, son of George III., brother 
of George IV. and of William IV. and uncle of Queen 
Victoria, delivered himself as follows on the famine 
in Ireland : 

"Ireland is not in so bad a state as has been repre- 
sented. I understand that rotten potatoes and seaweed, 


or even grass, properly mixed, afford a very wholesome 
and nutritous food. Irishmen can live upon anything, 
and there is plenty of grass in the fields, even if the potato 
should fail." 

Lord George Bentick, a friend to the Irish people, 
introduced a bill in the British Parliament to empower 
the Government to borrow .10,000,000 to build railways 
in Ireland, whereby employment would be givfin the 
starving people. The British Parliament rejected the bill. 

Famine and its consequent fever were now carrying 
off hundreds of poor people. In the hospitals and tem- 
porary fever sheds, along the road-sides, in the fields, and 
by the thickets and hedges were stretched and strewn and 
huddled together the dead and the dying, their yellow, 
pale faces pitiful to see; men, women, and children; the 
dying infant at the dead mother's breast; many of them 
with green herbs of the field protruding from their mouths, 
from which they vainly sought sustenance. 

Provisions were plenty enough in Ireland; the rich 
had abundance. Fat cattle and sheep, in herds and by 
the thousand, browsed at ease over the grassy fields of 
the wealthy landlords; but what poor man dare touch 
what the landlord owned? The bayonets of the British 
Army and of the British police force in Ireland, in obedi- 


ence to stubborn English laws, held the poor in abeyance. 
The poor in Ireland were denied the right to carry arms, 
lest when starving to death they may assert their right to 
live ; the poor in Ireland, because not having wealth, were 
denied the right to live, were deemed unworthy of the 
protection of the law ; the outlawed poor in Ireland were 
doomed to die and they died; die they did in Ireland 
of fever and famine. The fever and famine dead were 
buried in heaps, sometimes uncoffined, usually in their 
plague-infested rags ; their heads unrested in their graves 
save on a rough stone or on the bare earth; without ker- 
chief even to cover the once sweet face and the eyes that 
loved and the lips that spoke kindly from rough contact 
with the cold clods of earth that shut them out of sight 

Of poor, unhappy Ireland, as truly as of Jerusalem 
in its desolation, may the pathetic words of Jeremiah be 
said : ' 'Weeping she weepeth in the night. Her tears are 
on her cheeks. And there is none to comfort her." In 
1851, when the famine years were over, Ireland had lost 
2,100,000 of her people. 



In the first days of the month of October, 1848, my 
father, who had directed my education, being then in his 
sixty-third year, met me one day as I happened to be 
walking alone and engaged me in a very serious conversa- 
tion, which greatly engrossed my attention: "You are 
now/' he said to me, "in your nineteenth year. Your ed- 
ucation has gone on quite long enough to enable you to 
see and choose for yourself. It is God's will that each 
one should consider and choose for himself such way in 
life as he may be able to enter and follow, having in view 
his eternal salvation and the occupations he may prefer. 
I have directed your education somewhat towards the 
ecclesiastical state. It is now for you to choose. You 
have come fully to the years when it is incumbent on you 
to make a choice and to engage according to your prefer- 
ence. Pray that God may guide you; I will pray that 
you choose what is for the best. When you reach a con- 
clusion, let me know of it, so that I may aid you if I can, 
or as you may have need of me." Needless to say, 
these October days were for me a continuous'meditation. 
How should I know what to do ? Whence obtain the nec- 
essary knowledge? Without experience, to choose a way 

6 4 


of life, not knowing practically what a career in life was ; 
obliged to go into the darkness of the future, whereon for 
me not a ray of light hath fallen. "O Lord, hear my 
prayer/* "Give ear to my supplication in Thy truth. " 
"Hear me in Thy justice." "Hear me speedily/ 1 "O 
Lord, make known to me the way wherein I should walk, 
for I have lifted up my soul to Thee. Thy good spirit 
shall lead me into the right land." (Psalm 142 :8, 10.) 

The priesthood, as God would direct, was ever my 
chosen purpose, and from the very beginning the goal 
towards which the events that bore me onward were con- 
tinually pointing. It is in my earliest recollections that 
the old people who knew me from childhood were contin- 
ually giving me their blessing and telling me I would be a 
priest one day. Unconsciously, as I grew up, I found 
myself, without seeking on my part, drawn into the posi- 
tion of leading in the recitation of the family night prayers 
and rosary and litanies, serving the priests in the neigh- 
boring chapels and when the station for mass was held at 
our house, also teaching the prayers and catechism to the 
serving men and women and boys and girls who worked 
in my father's house and on the farm. To me likewise, 
usually as it happened, fell the duty of meeting the poor 
at the door, who came asking for alms, to whom I was 


often admonished to be respectful and to never send one 
of them away without proffered assistance. The sincere 
thanks and fervent prayers of those poor people always 
made their little almoner happy beyond measure, and 
truly ecstatic was his bliss and joy when their benedictions 
fell as whisperings from heaven into his ears* "Ah, 
then! may the heavens bless you, dear child. May you 
never want for anything, and may the world wonder at 
your luck." 

No one imagined, nor had I other thought or pur- 
pose, but that the studies I had been pursuing were a 
preparation for the priesthood. How or why the con- 
viction prevailed on all sides that I would be a priest is 
what I do not know and cannot explain; but, borne on- 
ward with this conviction, I steadily approached the goal, 
as much bound to it in purpose as I am now in fact, with 
the fiftieth year since my ordination almost in sight. 
Even now in my dreams I am still upon that purpose, as 
I often imagine I am in the seminary preparing for ordi- 
nation and conjecturing how long it may be before I be 
called to holy orders. 

It was not, however, until my return to my native 
place in 1894-1895, for the recovery of my health, that I 
heard of the whisperings that were current around my 


cradle. On that return to my native place I called on an 
aged gentleman, blind and bedridden and in expectation 
from day to day of his departure from this world, who 
narrated to me the following: 

"The night you were born my brother Tom and I 
were aroused from our beds by your father, who sent us 
over to the village of Grange to inform the friends of the 
family there of your birth. On our return from Grange, 
as we were passing through Cus Jennery, on the bounds 
of Rahen and Cahir, we heard in the furze covert at that 
place the sweetest music that our ears ever listened to, 
and we remained listening to it for a considerable time. 
Arrived at the house, we inquired who the musicians were 
that we heard playing at Cus Jennery and if they had not 
been sent to meet us. We got answer that no musicians 
had been engaged for the occasion and that none had been 
sent to meet us. Music of this kind was heard also when 
your brother James was born, and it was then believed 
that he was intended for the Church, which came to pass, 
for he died in holy orders at the Franciscan Monastery 
in Rome." 

The narrator of these events was by name Patrick 
McGrath, who, from his early boyhood, spent almost his 
whole lifetime in my father's employment, and with his 


saved-up earnings purchased a little farm and cottage in 
fee simple, wherein he lived comfortably with his family 
to an extreme old age and departed this life in peace, 
fortified by the grace of the last sacraments, beloved, re- 
gretted, and respected by all who knew him. May his 
soul rest in peace. Amen. 


I had learned from many reliable sources of informa- 
tion that in the far-away Western World, on the banks of 
the Mississippi, a great diocese was growing up that had 
immense missionary fields, over which the Church was 
spreading rapidly. One of my sources of information, 
the "American Catholic Almanac/ 1 sent regularly every 
year to my father by his brother, my uncle and namesake 
in America, gave full description of the diocese of St. 
Louis and had a well-executed frontispiece engraving of 
the Cathedral of St. Louis and buildings adjoining it, so 
that I had become greatly familiar with the place. Priests 
were not needed in Ireland, where for every vacancy 
there were twenty or more applicants. In the St. Louis 
diocese it occurred to me that possibly there might be 
more vacancies than applicants, as it was a new country. 


Why^not'gcTwhere, as it was reasonable to suppose, "the 
harvest was great, and the laborers few"? Besides, I pre- 
ferred going where few had gone before me and where 
new paths had to be opened. Of "perils of rivers" or of 
"perils of the wilderness/' I was not afraid. St. Louis 
was, as I regarded it, my foreordained place. I made up 
my mind to go there. This conclusion was reached by 
me on Thursday, i9th day of October, 1848. I sought an 
interview with my father and informed him of my pur- 
pose and of the reasons that led me thereto. He unhes- 
itatingly gave me his necessary permission to depart and 
that I might begin at once to make preparations for 
the journey. 


The next day I rode twelve miles to Limerick to con- 
sult the shipping agents as to the best way to go to St. 
Louis. The shipping agents informed me that, as the 
American railways had been built only as far west as the 
western boundaries of New York and Pennsylvania, the 
journey thence westward to St. Louis, about 1,000 miles, 
was too great to be attempted by uncertain ways, such as 
stage-coaches and sailing on lakes and rivers, especially 
as the cold, freezing weather of winter was about to set in. 



They advised that I sail from Liverpool to New Orleans 
and take steamboat from New Orleans to St. Louis, which 
I might possibly reach in the early part of winter, should 
the Mississippi River be then free from ice, as they thought 
it might be, on account of its more southern latitude than 
that of the northern lakes and rivers. Accordingly, I en- 
gaged passage from Liverpool to New Orleans on the first 
ship sailing on that voyage that I could reach, which was 
the Forfarshire, advertised to sail on Wednesday, No- 
vember ist, the intervening eleven days being sufficient 
for my preparation and the journey to Liverpool. On 
that same day that I went to Limerick, Friday, October 
2oth, I returned to my home at Cahirguillamore and an- 
nounced my purpose to finally leave home on the following 
Tuesday, October 24th, feast of St. Raphael Archangel. 


Accordingly, on Tuesday morning, October 24th, at 
4 o'clock, more than two hours before sunrise, having bid 
farewell to friends and relatives, there remained for me 
the unspeakable sorrow of separating from my father, 
whom I was never to see again in this world, as he was 
then aged and feeble. Fully aware of the hour set for my 


departure, he had not risen, his usual time of rising being 
6 o'clock. It was not for want of affection for me that 
he had not risen; never was father more devoted or 
kinder ; but he did not wish to favor one of his children 
more than another. Too much familiarity with his* child- 
ren he never indulged. No child of his has had the 
boast to make that he was honored with a seat on his 
father's knee. That father knew his place, and kept it 
everywhere with everyone ; that father entering the com- 
pany of his children was the signal for them to rise, every- 
one of them, and to remain standing until he had taken 
his seat. For the last time I knelt by that father's bed- 
side and asked him for his blessing, which he imparted. 
It is not to be inferred that at that parting there were 
not sobs and tears. 


I reached Limerick in less than two hours, and was 
at the railway station on time for the departure of the 
morning train for Dublin. The train went out on the 
Limerick and Waterford Railway as far as the Limerick 
Junction and there turned northward on the tracks of 
the Great Southern and Western Railway for Dublin. 
The Limerick Junction was then the southern terminus 


of the Great Southern and Western, the part of said line 
from said Junction to Cork not having been commenced. 


Arrived at Dublin in the evening, I straightway 
proceeded from King's Bridge terminus by the Liffey 
along the quays past the Custom House to the North 
Wall, where I found the steamship Royal William with 
steam up bound for Liverpool. The Royal William, then 
one of the fastest steamers afloat, made the voyage from 
her Dublin pier to her pier in Liverpool in ten and a 
half hours. 


In the gray dawn of morning, Wednesday, October 
25th, I was in England, at Liverpool, walking along the 
docks, looking for the ship Forfarshire, advertised to sail 
for New Orleans on Wednesday, November ist. I found 
the Forfarshire, but her appearance was very disappointing 
to me. She was a wide, large, dirty, heavy-looking ship. 
Her sails were anything but snow white, with plenty of 
pitch and tar splashed on her decks, bulwarks, and rig- 
ging; besides, she looked very deep in the water, and 


near her, on the wharf, there was a whole cargo yet 
waiting to be stowed in her between decks. I was greatly 
discouraged, and still more so when I had learned, upon 
inquiry, that the Forfarshire was a slow ship, her usual 
voyages between Liverpool and New Orleans being from 
seven to nine weeks. 

I called at the ship's company office and inquired 
for the name of the first ship belonging to the company 
following the Forfarshire for New Orleans, and when that 
ship was to sail. The answer was : "The next ship of our 
line following the Forfarshire for New Orleans is the 
Berlin, an American clipper ship, commanded by Cap- 
tain Smith, a Boston Yankee. The Berlin is a good ship 
and a fast sailer. Would you wish to engage passage on 
her?" I said, "I engaged with your Limerick agents to 
go out on the Forfarshire on November ist, but as I am 
in no particular hurry, and as I would like to stay in Liv- 
erpool a week or so, I would be glad if you would fa- 
vor me with a transfer to the Berlin." I presented my 
passage certificate, obtained at the Limerick office, which 
was found to be correct. I had no difficulty in getting a 
transfer to the Berlin. The Forfarshire sailed on her ap- 
pointed day, November ist. When I saw her leaving 



port, her dirty sails unloosed in the wind, I considered 
myself fortunate waiting for the Berlin. 


Early Wednesday morning, November 8th, I was 
aboard the Berlin. It was not long before the sailors 
commenced loosening the ship's moorings. Soon, by a 
hawser heaved by a capstan, the ship moved slowly to- 
wards the gate of the dock. Outside the dock, a tug- 
boat in waiting took the ship in tow and steamed out into 
the harbor. In the meantime the sailors unfurled the 
sails and hauled the yard-arms before the wind. At once, 
with sails set, the Berlin moved forward and closed up 
with the tug. Immediately the connecting hawser was 
let go from the tug and was hauled in by the ship ; then, 
with parting salutes, the tug fell back, and the ship 
bounded westward towards the open sea. At nightfall 
the good ship Berlin rounded the Holyhead Capes, was 
the next morning out of the Irish Sea and into St. George's 
Channel ; thence south-westward, out of the cold fogs and 
mists of northern Europe, she cleaved the waves onward 
to the Azore Islands, which she reached on the eighth day 
of the voyage, Thursday, i6th November; 1,500 miles 


from Liverpool, at average rate of sailing 7 miles per 
hour. No stay was made at the Azores; not a sail was 
lowered there, although the orange groves, the vine-clad 
hills, and the villages down by the sea looked inviting. 
South-west by west was now our course. The next land 
to be looked for was off the American continent, the Ba- 
hama Islands, the northernmost group of the West Indies. 


Shortly after leaving the Azores we got into the 
trade-winds, which, in the part of the ocean we were 
sailing, blow constantly from north-east to south-west, 
and were, therefore, favorable to our course. In this 
trade-wind region the weather was delightful. The 
sailors had little to do, as the sails were seldom shifted. 
Once the heat became very oppressive and continued so 
for three days; then, the winds having entirely lulled, 
there was a perfect calm. During this calm the sails hung 
flat by the masts and yard-arms, and the ship rocked 
lazily to and fro, like a happy lady in her rocking-chair, 
doing nothing. The sea-calm, which happens oftener at 
the equator than at the latitude we were sailing in, is 
called "the doldrums," from the wearisomeness of drifting 
back and forward with the tide. 



While becalmed we had much company. The fishes 
seemed to like us, especially the beautiful blue dolphins 
that continually played, chasing each other and darting 
this way and that, up and down through the water, 
around our ship like merry school-children on a picnic. 
Whales, too, were numerous, young and old ones, who 
seemed delighted to be near us. Some of them, when our 
ship began to move, followed us for days. 


There, too, was the Sargasso Sea "meadows," the 
sailors called it, from its green carpet of seaweed floating 
on the waves. Who that has sailed, if but once in his life, 
between the West Indies and the Azores, does not wel- 
come the coming time when, not through fog-banks, ice- 
floes, cold, piercing showers, and sharp-toothed winds of 
the North Atlantic, but over Indian-summer seas and be- 
neath sub-tropical skies, the American tourist shall hie 
his pleasant journey to Europe's classic shores and the 
far-away Orient? 



Friday, December 9th, towards midday, the captain 
was the observed of all as he stood on deck, with sextant 
raised to his eyes, taking observations of the sun, on pur- 
pose, no doubt, to find the sun's altitude and therefrom to 
ascertain the ship's position as to the latitude she was 
sailing in. Soon after midday, having completed his ob- 
servations, he laid his sextant aside, and, strapping a 
large -telescope over his shoulders, climbed to the foretop- 
mast, where, having secured himself in the ship's rigging, 
he pointed his telescope towards the western horizon. 
After an hour or so, perched on his lookout, he shouted 
to those on deck, "Land! Land! Land, ahoy!" Then, 
having given commands to the sailors, the sails were 
shifted and the ship's course changed to a more south- 
westerly direction. 

All eyes were now strained towards the western hor- 
izon to catch a first glimpse of shore. In no very long 
time the American shore appeared in dim outline, and 
then gradually rising above the sea. Soon the hills ap- 
peared, and next the white foam of the breakers dashing 
on the beach. Another command from the captain and 
the ship's course was again changed, more to southward, 



parallel with land, which lay about three miles distant, to 
starboard. Having sailed by the coast for some miles, 
the ship was next headed westward, through Hole in the 
Wall Channel, into the waters of the West Indies. The 
cape that we rounded was the southernmost promontory 
of the island of Abaco, the largest of the Bahama Islands, 
distant from the Florida shore of the American continent 
about 1 80 miles. 

The distance from the Azores to Hole in the Wall 
Channel, 2,900 miles, was sailed from i6th November to 
9th December in 23 days. Average sailing, 126* miles 
per day; average sailing per hour, 5} miles. Deducting 
3 days becalmed, the average sailing per hour was 6 miles. 
Our captain meant to make good time. With Yankee 
dash and daring, he urged his ship forward by the shortest 
route and with every square inch of canvas set. Often, 
in heavy squalls, the bounding Berlin was heaved stag- 
gering across the waves, almost on her beam-ends. 


From Abaco, leaving the islands of Andros and New 
Providence on the left, we sailed towards the Florida 
Reefs, by which we coasted until we were to southward 
of Key West, which was on Monday morning, December" 


i ith. The course we had sailed from Abaco to Key West 
was necessarily very oblique, as it lay between and around 
islands and along the great curve of the Florida coast. 
The distance sailed was about 300 miles. Time, from 
6 P. M. Friday to 10 A. M. Monday, 40 hours; average 
sailing per hour, 7$ miles. 


Mid-December weather, as I found it at the Ba- 
hamas and Floridas, differs very much from weather of 
the same season at the British Isles. In the Bahamas 
and the Floridas the air was soft, mild, and balmy ; in the 
British Isles in December the blasts are raw, harsh, and 
chilling. But there was still greater difference in favor 
of the south in the shorter winter nights. In the West 
Indian sub-tropical climes the winter nights are scarcely 
of greater length than the winter days. In the far 
northern climates the long dreary winter nights wear life 
away in darkness, almost never ending. The aspect of 
the heavens, too, presents the same contrasts at these 
different places. The sun, moon, and southern stars ap- 
pear to us at the North to be far away and low down to- 
wards the horizon. In the South these same heavenly 


bodies seem nearer to us and brighter and to ascend more 
overhead as they cross our meridian. At the same time 
in the farther South stars new to us, that we never saw 
before, rise up to greet us. 


In the early hours of the night of December nth, as 
we were sailing westward of Key West, a sailor was sent 
aloft into the rigging, having orders to look out north-west 
to starboard for a light-house, which he was to report as 
soon as seen. Those on deck who heard the order given 
thought they might interest themselves looking for that 
light-house. An hour or more passed away and no one 
reported having seen the light. Later on I thought I 
saw a light glimmer; again I saw it, and again and again 
I saw it at short intervals. I reported so quietly to the 
ship's officer on duty on deck at the time. He looked in 
the direction that I did and affirmed my observation, that 
the glimmer on the surface of the sea was from the light- 
house we were looking for. The man at the masthead 
may have mistaken the bearing of the light as given by 
the officer, or he may have been listless or drowsy at his 
post. The Tortugas light having been sighted, orders 


were given to change the ship's course to north-west for 
the mouths of the Mississippi. 


On the night of December loth, when sailing west- 
ward through Providence Channel, the moon, apparently 
in its southern declination, being then about the full, 
rose resplendent from the waves astern, on the port or 
left side of the ship, and, increasing in brightness, as- 
cended the southern skies towards the meridian. The 
same beautiful phenomenon attracted general attention 
on the following night, December nth, as we were sailing 
from Key West towards the Tortugas; also on the night 
of December i2th it was very bright on deck, and there 
were many promenading in the " sweet silver light of the 
moon." But, to their astonishment, beautiful Luna had 
changed her place in the heavens, had danced and skipped 
around from the left to the right side of the ship. There 
she stood to starboard, who but yesternight coquetted 
on the port side. How did it happen? Were there more 
moons than one at the tropics? Or was that moon they 
saw there, that had danced from one side of the ship to 
the other, the same staid, decorous moon that they had 


known at the British Isles? Some said they were glad 
not having to go farther than New Orleans, for at the 
equator or at the antipodes who could say but people 
were walking on their heads, heels up, everything topsy- 
turvy. My brains, too, might have got into the swim 
had I not had with me some charts, the pages of an or- 
dinary atlas of geography, from which I had learned that 
at the Tortugas our course should necessarily change 
from south-west to north-west. The ship it was, and not 
bright, lovely Luna, that had danced around from left to 
right and deceived us. 


It is often said, "All is not gold that glitters "; so it 
was with Luna and the fair skies she dwelt in. Later on 
that night of December i2th, as we were sailing towards 
the Mississippi, great clouds began rising up from the 
horizon towards the zenith. Soon the moon and stars 
were involved in impenetrable darkness that grew darker 
still as the clouds advanced. Our ship sailed into the very 
storm -center, or rather the storm-center came straight 
onwards against our ship. It was a fierce onset. A fury 
of lightning, thunder, wind, and rain shook up the sea 
from its depths. and rattled the poles of the heavens. 


Amid the heaving of the sea and the crash and roar of the 
elements, the captain gave his orders: "Lower sails! 
Cover pumps, capstans, chains, anchors, all metal and 
iron works!" so as not to attract the lightning. The 
tornado, though fierce and powerful, was brief. It soon 
spent itself and passed away, leaving the good ship Berlin 
still above the waves, victorious and unscathed. After 
that we had fair skies and good sailing across the Gulf of 
Mexico to the mouths of the Mississippi, where, on Thurs- 
day morning, December i4th, shrouded in fog-banks, we 
anchored in muddy water, that, as far as the eye could 
reach, had befouled the color of the sea. The distance be- 
tween Key West and the mouths of the Mississippi, 550 
miles, was sailed in 72 hours, at average speed of yj miles 
an hour. The whole distance, from Liverpool to the 
mouths of the Mississippi, 5,250 miles, was sailed in 5 
weeks and i day, at the rate of 146 miles per day, or 6^ 
miles per hour. 



We had not been at anchor long when a tugboat hove 
alongside and soon another tugboat came. Between 
these two tugboats our great ship, with sky-scraping masts, 
like a giant between two dwarfs, was propelled over the 


shallow bar at the mouth of the river, into the deeper 
water inside the entrance. Once over the bar, one of the 
tugs steamed out again to sea. The other tug began its 
hard task, towing us up against the current to New 
Orleans, 107 miles distant. 

To a person from the British Isles, the United States, 
as seen at the mouths of the Mississippi, is a mockery 
of sublime anticipations. No bold headlands; no high, 
rocky bluffs ; no cities on hills ; no hills at all ; no heathery 
uplands or daisied fields leading down to the sea ; no mur- 
muring sea, for there was no ebbing or flowing tide 
not enough rise of tide to cover a croaking frog; no belt 
of strand to mark the boundary between land and water, 
for land and water seemed interlocked and of the am- 
phibious kind an impenetrable jungle of swamps and 
bushes, infested with sharks, snakes, and alligators. 
There was water enough, of the kind it was, but who dare 
drink of it? Ha! That from the marshes smelt of toads 
and reptiles; that from the Mississippi suggested a fish- 
trap, for, besides mud, it may have a young alligator in 
it. And this is America America indeed. Alas! No 
help for me now ; I am on the Mississippi, and must go it. 
This ship I am on won't stop until I get to New Orleans ; 
and if I throw myself overboard and attempt to swim 


ashore, maybe the alligators or the buzzards will get me. 
See the miserable, muddy banks, not high enough above 
water for a drowning rat to dry himself on. 

I went to my berth in the ship and shut myself up in 
it; a happy relief it was from wretched sight-seeing. 
How long I remained in the berth I do not know ; it was 
not long, however, for anxiety and discouragement had 
made me restless. Out upon the deck again I went; I 
remained on deck. Sometimes the ship stopped, some- 
times it went on. Once I looked out over the ship's bul- 
warks and saw we were between what seemed to be two 
long, low earth-mounds, one on either side of the river; 
there was a bend in the river at the place. These mounds, 
on which there were trees and houses and gardens and 
people, were the first patches of elevated grounds that I 
saw since the tug took us in tow. I was told they were 
fortifications or land batteries, Fort St. Philip and Fort 
Jackson by name, guarding the approach to New Orleans 
from invasion by sea. 


Early Friday morning, December i5th, I was out on 
the ship's deck, and found the aspect of the surrounding 
country greatly changed for the better, There were many 


orange-groves in sight. The golden fruit, thick upon 
every branch and embosomed in the green leaves of the 
native tree, presented a pretty picture. Farther on there 
were great, wide sugar plantations, with many men at 
work, cutting down with lusty whacks of billhooks and 
cleavers the rich sugar-canes that stood twice a man's 
height over their heads, like a young forest. In the dis- 
tance on these plantations there were buildings with tall 
chimneys, towards which the sugar-canes were hauled in 
wagons, to be boiled and refined and the extracted sugar 
and molasses to be stored in hogsheads and barrels. 
Here truly was a rich and picturesque country, yielding 
sweetest treasures, of wealth untold, for the comfort and 
delight of man of whatever nation or clime. There were 
cotton plantations, too, fully as delightful and valuable 
as the sugar plantations. Apple and peach orchards and 
vineyards were numerous, also rice and vegetable farms, 
all showing a varied culture. The homes of the wealthy 
planters, and in a manner the farm-houses and village 
dwellings, seemed bright and comfortable, many of them 
fronted and flanked by broad porches and verandas and 
shaded trellises of honeysuckle, virgin's bower, and grape- 
vines. Of exceeding beauty and grandeur were the 
stately live-oaks, the great magnolias, and the tall cy- 


presses draped in every limb and branch with long tresses 
of green pendant moss that swayed back and forth in the 
breeze. In the foreground of some of these plantations 
and villages the church, with its cross-crowned belfry or 
steeple, was seen. 


Towards evening I began to have regrets, as our ship 
passed severally the English Turn, the Chalmette Planta- 
tion, the Jackson Battle-ground, and other places of in- 
terest. In the calm and glow of a bright sunset upon the 
Father of Waters and upon the forests and plantations 
upon its banks, the curtains of evening (Friday, De- 
cember 15, 1848) drew gradually around us and our good 
ship Berlin, as we slowly rounded the great ellipse of the 
curving shore that gives name and fame to the Crescent 
City. To God, the Creator and Father of all, be endless 
praise and thanks for His infinite goodness and unbounded 
mercies for so favorable a voyage. 

Next day, Saturday, December i6th, I inquired at 
the shipping offices for the ship Forfarshire, sailed from 
Liverpool, November ist. I learned that the Forfar- 
shire had not yet arrived, but, according to her sailing 
record, she might be expected in a week. This was the 


ship from which I got an exchange of passage, at Liver- 
pool, to the ship Berlin. 

Sunday, December lyth, I heard mass at St. Joseph's 
Church. Upon inquiry, I was told that the priest who 
celebrated the mass at which I assisted was Father 
Moyneham, who was reverently spoken of. 

There were several reasons why I did not stay long 
at New Orleans. It was not my place of destination. 
The cholera was prevalent, having been lately brought 
there from Havana. I was advised to lose no time set- 
ting out for St. Louis, as the river near St. Louis might 
close with ice at any time, and that, if once closed, it 
would remain so for the winter. 


The first steamboat to leave for St. Louis was the 
Missouri, called the Big Missouri, on account of its great 
size. I engaged passage on the Big Missouri. Monday, 
December i8th, early in the afternoon, the Big Missouri 
backed out from her New Orleans wharf and turned her 
prow up stream for St. Louis. I had not been to Holland, 
where, as is said, the people live below the level of the 
sea ; but my want of knowledge of Holland was counter- 
balanced in America by sailing on a river fourteen feet 


above city streets and adjoining farm-lands at New 
Orleans, La. What is called a dyke in Holland is termed 
a levee in Louisiana They mean the same thing a high, 
wide, strong embankment to hold back the water, be it 
Zuyder Zee or Mississippi, from drowning people. Be- 
tween levees holding within them the Mississippi River* 
whose water-level was as high as the third floor of three - 
story houses adjacent, the Big Missouri^ a veritable three- 
decker, with two large chimneys vomiting smoke and 
steam and with two large paddle-wheel boxes, each as 
big as a moderately-sized house, forced her ponderous 
bulk up against the muddy stream northward towards 
St. Louis at the rate of about ten miles an hour. There 
were on board about one hundred passengers and fully as 
many more in charge of the steamboat officers, engin- 
eers, firemen, deck-hands, barbers, bartenders, dining- 
room waiters, ladies' maids, ship carpenters, ship painters, 
and others of that class. 

The Louisiana country north of New Orleans pre- 
sented the same general appearance as in the districts 
immediately south of New Orleans, deep loam soil, 
without stone or boulder ; immense sugar and cotton plan- 
tations, worked by bands of negroes directed by over- 
seers. In the marshes bordering on streams and rivers 


and in the background of the plantations fronting on the 
Mississippi there were extensive forests of cypress, live- 
oaks, and magnolias, draped in green Spanis moss, hang- 
ing in tresses to the ground and swaying to and fro in 
the gentle wind. No old castles, abbeys, or round towers 
in Ireland, in their massive plumes of never-fading green 
ivy, look half so majestic as do these giant cypress- 
trees a myriad army, each plumed and mantled with 
tons of gray-green moss as they stand sentinel over 
the mighty Mississippi and its tributaries in southern 

The Big Missouri steamboat, a grand floating palace, 
a gigantic commercial power, in keeping with the genius 
of its surroundings, made frequent landings from place 
to place along the banks of the Mississippi, embarking 
and disembarking passengers, loading and unloading com- 
modities, mostly immense piles of cotton bales and hogs- 
heads and barrels of sugar and molasses. 


Early on Tuesday morning, December iQth, we made 
landing at Baton Rouge, the capital of Ix>uisiana, 130 
miles from New Orleans. From Baton Rouge our Big 
Missouri turned its prow to mid-river and again master- 


fully took up its course northward, passing through a 
country similar to that we had sailed through the previous 
day. Gradually, however, towards midday and during 
the afternoon and evening the character of the country 
seemed changing. We were passing from southern to 
northern Louisiana. Some hills, but of no great height, 
gave bolder character to the east bank of the river. On 
the west bank the aspect was unchanged. At this place 
one of the great tributaries, the Red River, flowing from 
the north-west, enters the Mississippi. 


Sometime in the early part of the night, December 
1 9th, we made landing at Natchez, built on a high bluff 
on the east bank of the river, in the State of Mississippi, 280 
miles from New Orleans; the west bank opposite Natchez 
being in the State of Louisiana. Wednesday morning, 
December 2Oth, we made good progress northward, 
having Louisiana on the west, still to our left, and the 
State of Mississippi on the east, to our right The char- 
acter of the country on the west was still the same as on 
previous days, low, level rich land, with sugar and 
cotton plantations and some corn-fields. To the east the 


rising ground on the river bank seemed to grow gradually 
higher and higher as we advanced northward. 


On that same day, December 2oth, in the evening, 
we reached Vicksburg, also built on a high bluff, and in 
the State of Mississippi, 408 miles from New Orleans ; the 
west bank of the river opposite Vicksburg being in the 
State of Louisiana. Sailing northward from Vicksburg, 
we soon passed on our left the northern boundary of 
Louisiana. After this the adjoining States along our 
course were : to the west, on our left, Arkansas ; to the 
east, on our right, Mississippi. Westward, in Arkansas, 
the character of the land was unchanged ; it was low, flat, 
rich land, having deep loam, easily tilled. Cotton was 
the prevailing crop. The cotton was then being gath- 
ered in. Literally, "the fields were white for the harvest. " 
The cotton plantations were beautiful to behold. Seem- 
ingly as numerous as the open cotton-bolls on the cotton- 
trees were the darkies busy at work, picking the cotton 
and putting it into baskets. In the far distance, beyond 
these cotton plantations, the tall, dark forests, apparently 
of impenetrable depth, loomed gloomily in sight. Sugar 
plantations were no longer to be seen. Fields of corn, 


with large yellow pendant ears, were the outposts of the 
plentiful harvests and the teeming granaries of the great 
Northwest. In this neighborhood another of the great 
tributaries, the Arkansas River, flowing from north-west 
to south-east, enters the Mississippi. 


Here, a sad story to relate, we had our first funeral. 
Close by the Father of Waters, in the deep, mellow soil 
of the Arkansas shore, with bowed, uncovered heads, we 
sadly and reverently closed the grave of a fellow- voyager, 
not known to any of us, who was suddenly taken away 
by the incoming plague, the cholera. Sorrowfully, as we 
were leaving, we took a parting look at the solitary grave, 
around which none but strangers had stood; no kindred 
were near, nevertheless the evidences of sincere sorrow 
were not wanting. A toll of the steamboat bell hurried 
us back on board ; the gangways were hauled in, and we 
were soon again under way, heading for our still distant 
destination. On the two following days, Thursday, De- 
cember 21, and Friday, December 22, there were similar 
sad scenes, which were more private, however, as it was 
thought best not to alarm the passengers. 



Soon after midnight, December 22d-23d, we arrived 
at Memphis, situated on a long, high bluff on the east 
side of the river, in the State of Tennessee, 858 miles from 
New Orleans. 


Sunday forenoon, December 24th, we arrived at 
Cairo, 111., on the east bank of the Mississippi, at the 
mouth of the great eastern tributary, the Ohio River, 
1,104 miles from New Orleans. At this point the weather 
was freezing, and thin floating sheets of ice appeared on 
the river, going swiftly with the current. 


After midday, December 24th, we reached Cape 
Girardeau, on the west bank of the Mississippi, a Missouri 
town, having a fairly elevated site, the first rising ground 
of any note that we saw on that side of the river since we 
left the Gulf of Mexico. From New Orleans the distance 
by river to Cape Girardeau is 1,138 miles. Sunday after- 
noon and evening, as our steamer was going northward 
from Cape Giradeau, the weather grew very much colder 


and the floating ice grew thicker and came down the 
river in much larger sheets. 


Early Christmas morning the weather was exceed- 
ingly cold; the steamboat was sometimes at a standstill, 
aground on a sandbar, or fast in the ice. Three deaths 
amongst passengers and deck-hands were reported. The 
sky was overcast and snow was falling. We were some- 
where near St. Genevieve, 1,218 miles from New Orleans 
and within 60 miles of St. Louis. The steamboat car- 
penters were hard at work repairing the great paddle- 
wheels, damaged by the ice, and building in front of the 
steamboat's prow an auxiliary prow of heavy timbers, 
wherewith to save the hull from impact with the ice. In 
the course of some time the steamboat's paddle-wheels 
began moving ; slowly at first the steamboat moved along 
a partly open narrow channel in mid-stream, where the 
ice was thinner or had not closed across solidly. 


Working on steadily through the ice, stopping oc- 
casionally for repairs, maintaining doggedly the purpose 
to make port, we reached the wharf at St. Louis about 


noon, December 26th, in eight days from New Orleans, 
the distance by water being 1,278 miles. Average rate 
of sailing per day, 160 miles; average speed per hour, 6 
miles ; the same speed nearly that was maintained by the 
Berlin crossing the ocean. Like a good, God-fearing 
sailor, I went first of all to the nearest church, the Cathe- 
dral of St. Louis, to make my thanksgiving to God for 
my safe arrival at my place of destination, after having 
passed through many dangers and hardships. 

Next morning, December 27th, feast of St. John the 
Evangelist, I went to confession, heard mass, and re- 
ceived holy communion in the Cathedral of St. Louis. 
It was now in order for me to present myself to his grace 
the Archbishop of St. Louis. Accordingly, at a season- 
able hour in the afternoon, I entered from Second Street, 
through the gateway into the flower garden, surrounded 
by a high wall, in front of the hall door, on the eastern 
side of the old-fashioned but respectable-looking quad- 
rangular two-story building, flanked by verandas, and 
known as the Archbishop's Residence, by the side of the 
Cathedral. Having gained admission into the Archbisop's 
Palace and into the public reception-room, I requested 
the favor of an audience with his grace the Archbishop. 
1 was told his grace the Archbishop was from home and 


that he would be absent for some time. I then asked 
for a brief interview with the Very Rev. Father residing 
near the Archbishop and attending to the Archbishop's 
business in the Archbishop's absence. After some min- 
utes' delay, a portly, dignified, venerable ecclesiastic, 
Very Rev. Simon A. Paris, rector of the Cathedral, a 
Frenchman, entered the reception-room and asked me 
what the business was on which I came. I gave him my 
name, told him where I was from, and what my business 
was. He replied that every place in the Seminary was 
occupied, and that it was unlikely there would be any 
vacancy soon, as several students whojiad been prom- 
ised places were waiting for their turn to be called. I 
thanked him for the information he gave; at the same 
time I said that as I had traveled a very long journey to 
see his grace the Archbishop of St. Louis, I would await 
his coming home to see him. Very Rev. Father Paris re- 
tired. I passed out by the same way I had entered. 

On Sunday, December 3ist, I heard mass in St. 
Patrick's Church, St. Louis. It was the parochial mass, 
celebrated by the Rev. William Wheeler, the parish priest. 
The sermon, appropriate to the beginning of the new 
year, was preached by Rev. Father Higginbotham, the 
assistant priest. The preacher called the attention of the 


congregation to the fact, already well known to them, as 
it had been published in the newspapers, that the Asiatic 
cholera was then in the city and spreading, having been 
brought by a steamboat lately arrived from New Orleans. 
In view of that fact, it behooved every good Christian 
who valued the salvation of his soul to begin the new 
year well by a devout reception of the sacraments, as a 
timely preparation for an event inevitably impending 
the death of many then and there listening to him before 
the expiration of the year about to begin. He reminded 
them of the great numbers that had died in St. Louis of 
the cholera in 1832 and that had been alive and well when 
that cholera year of 1832 began. His sermon made a 
deep impression on his attentive hearers and was pro- 
phetic. During the year 1849 St. Louis was decimated 
by the Asiatic cholera ; towards the end of the month of 
August the death-rate having reached 275 a day. 

Upon the return home of his grace Archbishop Ken- 
rick, towards the end of January, 1849, I renewed my 
request for an audience with him and obtained it. Hav- 
ing knelt for his blessing, which he very paternally im- 
parted, I presented my letter of recommendation, which 
was very brief, as follows : 

9 8 



"23 October, 1848. 

"I know the bearer, John J. Hogan, well. He goes 
to America to enter the sacred ministry. I recommend 
him to any prelate who may need his services. I am 
confident he will not be found wanting. 


His grace read the letter and remarked: "I know 
Doctor Cussen well. He was my fellow-student at May- 
nooth." Then, taking a book from his library, he told 
me to open it at any page and read and translate some of 
it. It was a Latin book, the name of which I do not re- 
member. I read and translated a paragraph or two. 
Then, at his grace's bidding, I conjugated some verbs, 
declined some nouns, quoted rules for the syntax of 
words and for the quantities 'of syllables. My examina- 
tion was at an end. His grace took the book from me 
and put it back in the library. He said: "At present 
there is no vacancy in the Seminary. We are enlarging 
it, however. Next month, or about Easter, I will have 
a place for you. You may come about that time." He 
next inquired whether I had any relatives or friends in 
St. Louis, with whom I might perhaps be staying. I re- 
plied that I had a letter of introduction to Rev. Father 
Carroll, of Alton, 111., from Father Carroll's brother in 


Ireland, and that it was my intention to go to see Father 
Carroll. His grace was pleased to know that Father 
Carroll was my friend, and he readily gave me his consent 
to go to see Father Carroll and to remain with him until 
my place in the Seminary would be ready for me. 


At Alton I found congenial occupation serving mass 
and taking care of the altar and sacristy of St. Peter's 
Church, of which Rev. Father Carroll was pastor. The 
Rev. Michael Carroll, of distinguished personal appearance, 
a nobleman by nature, and of extraordinary zeal and 
ability as a priest, was born in Effin, County Limerick, 
Ireland, in 1816. Having completed his classical studies 
in Ireland, he sailed for New York and thence proceeded 
to the Western States. He entered the Seminary of the 
Barrens, Perry County, Missouri, where, after the or- 
dinary theological course, he was ordained priest on De- 
cember 8, 1842, in the Cathedral of St. Louis, by Right 
Rev. Peter Richard Kenrick, D.D., Bishop of Drasa, and 
coadjutor of Bishop Rosatti, of St. Louis. Rev. Father 
Carroll, immediately after his ordination, was appointed 
to Alton as its first pastor. He built a church at Alton, 


and opened missions at Edwardsville, Troy, Bunker Hill, 
Ridgely, Carrollton, Jerseyville, and Carlinville, 111., suc- 
cursal to the church at Alton. In the company of Father 
Carroll and those of his immediate environment I found 
ample opportunity of acquiring useful knowledge and of 
social enjoyment. 

Chief amongst Father Carroll's friends was Mr. 
Trenchery, Frenchman, blind from his birth ; educated' in 
a school for the blind in Paris ; music teacher to the best 
families in Alton; organist of Father^ Carroll's church; 
mathematician, historian, astronomer; student of polit- 
ical science and economics. A paradox as well as a 
prodigy he was, for on the cardinal maxim of philosophy, 
that there can be nothing in the intellect that was not 
first in the senses, it seemed impossible that that blind 
man's intellect could have attained its varied knowledge 
without knowing the external appearance, size, shape, 
distance, color, of any of the objects by which he was 
surrounded. When an organ or piano wanted repair or 
was out of tune, he took it apart, examined it, found the 
defect, remedied the defect, put the several parts to- 
gether again, tuned the discordant keys, set all up in 
order, and then, with his magic finger-touches, brought 
out series after series of fugues and symphonies, such as 


the instrument never throbbed to before. So with the 
guitar and the violin. His gentle manners and devotion 
to music exerted on me much of the influence that he 
had over musical instruments. I obeyed him passively. 
When new music was sent to him, or when he wished to 
learn a new piece, he smilingly approached me and, in 
a soft, whispering voice, said: "John, read the notes 
for me," We moved towards the piano, at which he took 
his seat; then the notes were read to him; they dropped 
out in music at his fingers' ends. After a reading or two, 

he got the character and spirit of the music and the rest 

followed a masterly improvisation. Next to music, he 

studied Brownson's Review, which I read to him, often 
an hour or longer at a time. Brownson was then creating 
a sensation by his essays on philosophy, theology, pol- 
itics, literature, and government. At this time also the 
electric telegraph began to be injise in the Western States, 
a line having been lately built between St. Louis and 
Alton. This greatly attracted Mr. Trenchery's attention, 
so that he could hardly sleep or rest until he had learned 
how lines and dots, written at a distance, could be read 
thousands of miles away, from a ribbon of paper. I en- 
deavored to explain to him the working of the telegraph, 

so far as I could communicate it to him, by reading de- 
scriptions of it from books and newspapers. 

Mr. Michael Carroll, an elderly, respectable gentleman, 
not, however, of the same family as Father Carroll, was 
the teacher of Father Carroll's parish school at Alton. 
Teacher Carroll had ideas far above the curriculum of the 
parish school; and he was not over-modest, expounding 
those ideas to Mr. Trenchery, the organist, and to John, 
the student. In a word, he had perpetual motion on 
the brain. In order to please Teacher Carroll, or, more 
truly, to keep him from going wrong in his head entirely, 
we consented to aid him to prove his principles by the 
erection of machinery in accordance with his plans for 
the purpose. 

The church basement, a long, high, wide room, we 
converted into a carpentry or workshop, by erecting 
therein inclined planes, on which we operated wheels and 
axles propelled by pending weights, for the purpose of 
acquiring a constantly increasing momentum to sustain 
unceasing oscillation; it being Mr. Carroll's theory that a 
body descending an inclined plane could lift another body 
of equal weight up a similar inclined plane to the height 
from which the descending body started, and thereby 


maintain a perpetual motion that might be increased 

The experiments of course, failed as there was no 
additional lifting power to overcome gravitation, friction, 
and atmospheric resistance. The experiments were re- 
peated from time to time, but always ended in failure, 
which Mr. Carroll attributed to defective machinery, 
rather than to error in principles. The repeated failures 
greatly increased Mr. Carroll's anxiety lest, as he said, 
someone, getting knowledge of his theory, and having 
more friends and means than he had, should apply for a 
Government patent and obtain it before he did, thereby 
depriving him of the fruit of his plans and labors. The 
organist closed the stances by telling the teacher, with a 
playful, sardonic smile, that in his opinion the only way 
to get perpetual motion was to suspend the laws of Nature, 
whereby the Creator held the universe together and in 

On an elevated plateau, facing the river and over- 
looking the streets of Alton, there stood beside the Cath- 
olic church and the priest's house the residence of a 
large, tall, portly, active, impetuous man, who was withal 
a gentleman of elegant manners, an eminent physician, 
having an extensive practice, a Catholic, one of Father 


Carroll's most distinguished friends, Dr. T. M. Hope. 
Whenever Father Carroll and Dr. Hope spent an hour 
together, as they sometimes did when official duties hap- 
pened to be at a lull, they had a most enjoyable time, 
as was evinced by the loud bursts of laughter indulged in 
with emulation by them. A never-failing source of mer- 
riest laughter for these happy professional gentlemen 
was the historic duello that had then lately nearly come 
to the point, with broadswords, on the west bank of the 
Mississippi River, opposite Alton, under the wild forest 
trees of the Missouri shore, whither the principals, at- 
tended by their seconds, all from Springfield, 111., were 
wafted by the ferry-boat to meet in mortal combat, 
according to the code that governs blue-blooded gen- 
tlemen. Dr. Hope's services were engaged as profes- 
sional surgeon for the occasion. Needless to say that 
the Doctor went fully prepared for business, having taken 
with him his case of battle-field surgical implements, 
wherewith to saw and reset the hacked and battered 
bones and to staunch and stitch the slashed and sabered 
arteries of the immortal combatants none other than 
Abe lyincoln, the future President of the United States, 
and James Shields, the future hero of the Mexican War. 
When the two young suckers, Hector and Ajax, arrived 


on the duelling-ground, and were donning their war-paint, 
Dr. Hope grasped them both between his powerful hands 
and disarmed them of their broadswords, telling the 
young fellows to go home and behave themselves and 
not to disgrace their country and friends, or he would 
put them across his knee and spank them for their ras- 
cality. Dr. Hope broke up the cock-fight and tamed 
the young roosters. Like the siege of Troy it was all on 
account of a lady. 

I had happy days at Alton, favored with the com- 
pany of the priest, the doctor, the organist, and the 
teacher a unique quartette, whose likes I would fain 
meet again. But events were hastening on. The Right 
Rev. James O. Vandevelde, D.D., Bishop of Chicago, con- 
secrated at St. Francis Xavier's Church, St. Louis, on 
Sunday, nth February, 1849, began the visitation of his 
diocese at Alton on Passion Sunday, March 25th, the 
feast of the Annunciation. I served his mass daily while 
he was at Alton. Having heard that I was an ecclesi- 
astical student, he offered to take me to Chicago and 
give me a place in the Seminary there. I thanked his 
lordship and apologized for inability to accept his gra- 
cious offer, as I had already engaged with the Archbishop 
of St. Louis to enter the St. Louis Seminarv. 


His lordship Bishop Vandevelde was accompanied 
by his vicar-general, the Very Rev. William J. Quarter, 
brother of the late Bishop of Chicago. With Rev. Father 
Carroll, I accompanied these dignitaries to the Alton 
stage-coach office at the Alton House hotel, whence, on the 
arrival of the daily mail stage-coach from St. Louis, they 
were to take their departure for Chicago, where they were 
to arrive, as by schedule time, on Saturday, March 3ist, 
the day before Palm Sunday. When the stage-coach ar- 
rived at the Alton House from St. Louis, his lordship the 
Bishop and his vicar-general took seats already engaged 
for them for their journey to Chicago. The Very Rev. 
Father William Quarter, the vicar-general, a large, portly 
man with massive head and shoulders, felt very uncom- 
fortable in the narrow stage-coach. Especially incon- 
venient to him was the broad-brimmed clerical hat he 
wore, which hindered him from resting his head against 
the back of the stage and, bareheaded he could not be, 
as the weather was freezing. "Oh," said he, "how un- 
comfortable is this narrow vehicle! and how shall we be 
able to endure it three days and three nights to Chicago?' 1 
Then, turning to me, he said: "John, give me your cap 
and I will give you my hat. With my hat on your head 
you will be a man forevermore." Not sooner said than 


done. I gave him my cap ; he gave me his hat, the first 
hat I wore. My head, as I imagined, seemed so big I 
thought everyone was looking at me. As the stage-coach 
was about to move away, we knelt and his lordship the 
Bishop gave us the blessing. The dearly beloved Bishop 
and his distinguished companion, the vicar-general, were 
soon out of sight, lost to our loving gaze. 

Shortly after these events I got notice from St. Louis 
that the place in the Seminary at Carondelet was ready 
for me. To dear Father Carroll I expressed most grateful 
thinks for his exceeding great kindness to me. Also to 
those near the said Rev. Father with whom I was ac- 
quainted, I bade adieu. On the swift Alton packet, Lwlla, 
I descended the river to St. Louis, where Mr. Shepherd, 
the procurator of the Seminary, met me and took me to 
Carondelet, to be there domiciled as a student of the 
diocese of St. Louis. 

Looking back on this journey from the distance of 
fifty years, may I not confidingly say, the angel Raphael, 
:m whose feast I set out from home, had conducted me 
safe ; the prayers of my pious father were heard when he 
alessed me at my separation from him: "May you have 
i good journey, and God be with you on your way, and 
rlis angel accompany you ' ' ? (Tobias, 5:21.) 


Blessed be God. 
Blessed be His Holy Name. 

Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true Man. 
Blessed be the Name of Jesus. 

Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of 
the altar. 

Blessed be the great Mother of God, Mary most holy. 
Blessed be her holy and Immaculate Conception. 
Blessed be the name of Mary, Virgin and Mother. 
Blessed be God in His holy Angels and in His Saints.